Posted by: medicblog999 | February 25, 2009

In too deep?

not-waving-but-drowning1Have you ever had a moment when you realise that maybe you are in over your head?

Have you ever started something and then realised that maybe you aren’t the best person to take it forward?

Have you ever had a great idea, got people to jump on board and go along with it, then have a moment when you think maybe it is all a bit too much to much to do?

I am right there, right now, and it doesn’t feel particularly good. Here is some background:

I have ideas, sometimes they are good sometimes a bit rubbish. I also tend to throw myself into things, completely and without maybe considering all options first. 

A few months ago, my service appointed a “research facilitator”, to help bring along the Trust and hopefully start some unique research in the field of pre-hospital care. I got to know her quite well and during a chat with her one day I decided to pitch an idea for a research project which I had been thinking about for a little while. I wont go into details here as it is still in the early stages and as far as I can tell, its a UK and possibly worldwide unique project.

Of course, being the person that I am, I jumped headlong into contacting the relevant hospital consultants in the various specialities I needed on board. I got broad agreements from all of them, and all thought it was a very worthwhile thing to pursue. I contacted key operational paramedics who I knew would be keen and enthusiastic to be involved and got the numbers I need to ensure that the project could go ahead. 

Now, being as naive as I am, I thought that would be the hard work done. How wrong I was. I am now in the unenvious position of trying to write research proposals, funding applications, working out costings for the study etc etc etc. I know nothing about these things, but fortunately the research facilitator for the Trust has made contact with alot of influential people who have now joined the project and are assisting in taking it forward. 

I now have emails for 2 professors suggesting how I move things on and giving me examples of proposals and applications that have been successful in the past. It should be fairly straightforward, but I cant get past the fact that I am a Paramedic, and not an academic. Some of the words being thrown around mean absolutely nothing to me. What do I know about methodologies for different types of research trials? What do I know about statistical analysis?.

Don’t get me wrong, I have alot of help now, from very very clever people who do this thing for a living and are nationally and internationally recognised for the work they have done, BUT, I am Mark, a paramedic from Newcastle, who is great at being a paramedic but not so great at academia. Its all getting a bit scary.

I hope I don’t let alot of people down. I hope that I can achieve what I want from this. I have always wanted to have some work published in an internationally respected journal. Although the lead investigator is now going to be one of the Professors (as we need some expertise on this otherwise it will never get off the ground) I hope it will still have my name on it somewhere as I think I have alot of work ahead of me.

I hope its worth it!

Wish me luck…….I’m going in!



  1. The night is always darkest just before dawn my friend, fight the good fight, hang in there, keep your chin up…

    Oh who am i kidding…

    You’re out of your mind!

  2. I wish you the best of luck 🙂

  3. Best of luck!

    If you need help with the statistics, I may be able to help.

  4. Hey, if it’s gonna make you any money can I do your typing for you ??? !!!

    PS – didn’t you recently tell me you were cutting back on work related things – ha ha.

    • Hey Fiona!
      Good to see you on here!
      I am cutting back on all things work, other than this blog.

      Im hoping to get someone to take over from me, but we will see what happens.

      Take Care.

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