A Different Language

Posted on January 14, 2008

Jeannette R. Ickovics (bio) asserts that transdisciplinary work involves recognizing the particular strengths of oneself and one's colleagues.


I think doing the interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary work is really, really exciting because you do learn a different language, you learn from one another, you teach one another. As somebody who does work with pregnant women, I need my obstetrician and midwife colleagues in order, not just to have access to young women who we might hope to include in our studies, but also to understand the clinical importance of the questions we ask and understanding the results that we get in the context of what is not just statistically significant, but clinically meaningful.

So one reaches out to colleagues across disciplines in order to really, because you need each other, and what I bring to the table as a researcher is really expertise in study design, in recruitment, in retention, in measurement, and in I think articulating specific aims of studies and understanding how to test those hypotheses.

I need my clinical colleagues to help define what the important clinical questions are, and as I said, to help interpret the data on the other end. So they really bring an understanding of the clinical approaches, of the medical approaches, of who the participants are, who their patients are, what’s important to them, what’s important to their provider colleagues. So I see it as a real partnership and us both bringing our expertise to the table.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in September 2007.


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