Throughout summer 2012, I am conducting research on how medical doctors and medical residents read and interpret medical findings. As part of this work, I am conducting a survey for doctors and residents to take. It will take a maximum of 20 minutes, is completely anonymous, and is unfunded, with the exception of about $1,000 from the University of Alberta Department of Linguistics. Information about the results will be posted here in fall/winter 2012.
Study objectives and background: This research addresses how medical practitioners -- specifically, doctors and residents -- read and interpret medical findings. Medical findings as written up in original research articles are often presented using a wide variety of expressions and other linguistic features to convey the same basic results. In previous work, I present findings supporting the hypothesis that the type of language used to present medical findings varies by several factors, including the prestige of the journal and the type of study (randomized control trial vs. non-RCT). In this study, I would like to see how doctors as readers interpret similar findings that have different linguistic features.
Scope: This is a survey of practicing medical doctors and residents of various specialties (or generalists) in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere. I am aiming for approximately 100-150 participants. The survey should take no more than 20 minutes.
Methods and procedures: This will be a web-based survey in which doctor-participants will read short (1-2 sentence) passages with findings presented verbatim, or quasi-verbatim from high impact-factor medical journals such as Journal of the American Medical Association. The study has received ethical (Institutional Review Board) approval from the University of Alberta, Canada. After completing the survey, you will be given more information about the goals of the study.