Practice What You Preach – reviewing a tinnitus research article

As I thought about what to write about for this week, it occurred to me that I had presented a challenge two weeks ago – to read, through the end of the year, one journal article a week.  What is accountability without follow through, especially in this day and age of social media? Isn’t part of being a member of the world wide web proclaiming to the world your successes, as well as your and failures?

While the task at first seemed daunting as I, again admittedly, have not kept up with regular research article dissection, as I began to dismantle this article the familiar feeling of satisfaction slowly began to creep over me.  One of the best parts of graduate school for me was the capacity to dive into whatever area of audiology interested me the most at that point in time by reading the latest and greatest research coming from our field’s top minds.  And of course, there was always a certain sense of pride when I had completed my read through of my selected journal article. Admittedly, I did not read one last week as I was on PTO (social media failure).  So, for my first week in my “for the rest of the year I will read one scientific article a week” challenge I found I had surprised even myself with how much I enjoyed the process (social media success!) yet again.  However, after my allotted hour to read the article turned more into an hour and a half, I caught myself trying to shortcut through some of the processes outlined in Dr. Raff’s “How to read a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists” guidelines (in case you missed it, check out my previous blog post about that HERE).

What my articles typically look like once I’ve read through them.

While it was at times frustrating for me to follow her guidelines to the letter, I will absolutely sit here and share that it was a valuable experience for me, especially given that I’ve been out of academia and thereby getting further out of practice reading scientific papers for six years now.  While I keep up with my non-academic audiology publications, going back to my roots of science and academia was a valuable exercise in my path to becoming the very best clinician that I  can be. And as a lover of all things tinnitus, it was also absolutely refreshing to read new ideas and scientifically evaluated procedures for tinnitus treatment.
So, a big THANK YOU to all of you that produce the research that drives our field. As we try to make evidence based practice a priority in audiology, we could not accomplish that without your efforts.


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