Dr. Marc Basson on Clinician-Scientists

On Wednesday January 30th, 2013, Dr. Marc Basson, Professor and Chair of the Michigan State University Department of Surgery, addressed the first and second year College of Human Medicine students enrolled in the MSRJ elective. Dr. Basson, an M.D.-Ph.D., opened his discussion on the advantages offered by having expertise in multiple disciplines with the following quote:

“I like to go back and forth, and I think that I’m better at both for it.”

Dr. Basson described the road to becoming a clinician-scientist as challenging, and advised students “If you aren’t sure if you want to do it, then don’t.” Reflecting on his own experience as a practicing surgeon and basic scientist, he described surgery as a “quick fix”, as opposed to research which he called more of a “long-term challenge.” He concluded this topic with the following remark:

“Clinician-Scientists ask questions that the scientists don’t know how to ask, and the clinicians don’t know how to answer”

Dr. Basson’s lecture was the first of two guest talks for the MSRJ elective at Michigan State University.

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David Ortiz

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