Our research project is about current 4th year dietetic students’ perceptions of their upcoming integrated internships. When I first heard about the topic, I thought to myself: “What is the point of conducting this research? I can tell you how they feel.” And now that we’ve completed the data collection and some of the data analysis, the conclusions are similar to what I thought we might find. However, I realized the value of research isn’t solely in the results– it’s the process that we went through to obtain high quality data, and it’s the analysis of data to distill it to its most basic underlying constructs– this made our research project worthwhile.
I remember going to an art gallery and reading a display about the process that Henri Matisse went through to create large reclining nude. Seeing his creative process was eye-opening, and made me appreciate the painting so much more. He worked on the piece for over 5 months, it was as if he created 10 or 12 masterpieces on the way to the one which best represented his vision. At first, it was a realistic portrait of a nude woman. Then the background simplified, certain body parts became more exaggerated while others disappeared. Finally, the painting took on the identity it has to this day.
I feel like research is much the same way– many edits are necessary before the product is able to best conveys the essence of the data. We’re in the midst of this discussing, writing, editing, and rewriting process. It’s a time consuming one for sure, but working with this amazing group of preceptors and fellow interns makes it enjoyable and even fun.
Many thanks to those students who shared their experiences for this project, this could not have been possible without you!