17 YEARS FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH TO TRANSLATE INTO PRACTICE

Written by Dana Trentini, May 26, 2020

17 years for medical research to translate into practice

In 2011, researchers quantified the time lag between publication of medical research and translation into practice in medical offices. It was the first study of its kind and the result left me speechless.

17 years.

Um, say what?

17 years for medical research to translate into medical practice

Yup, 17 years.

It takes on average 17 years before the discoveries of medical researchers ever make it into medical practices. 17 years of wasted time that patients could be benefiting from a vast body of literature. How many people die in those 17 years when there are perfectly useful interventions in the journals of the greatest publications in the world? How many valuable nuggets lost for 17 years if at all? Answers are written all over published research papers and yet it will take 17 years for patients to benefit from that knowledge. The medical literature is supposed to guide clinical practice yet there is a serious disconnect.

This one study has stayed on my mind for years. And finally I decided to take a leap and launch a health blog to help bridge this wide chasm.

17 years for medical research to translate into practice

Friends and family that know me, know this quirky fact. If I open my purse, at any given moment, a scientific study will pop out for me to read any chance that I get during the day. 

Once upon a time I was a high school biology teacher. I loved to turn what seemed like boring information to my teenage students into something fascinating that captured their attention and mattered to their lives. I held Biology Bingo Fridays and made funny science jokes because heck I can’t go a day without fun and big belly laughs. I had a knack for turning the science of the body into something interesting. Fast forward in my career and I became a corporate trainer on Wall Street. And guess what? Different audience, different content, yet the exact same rules applied.

Make it interesting. Make it relevant.

I moved to New York City to complete two graduate degrees and became the team leader of a tenured professor’s research team. He taught me the art of gathering hundreds of recently published studies to decipher common themes and invisible dots that inevitably linked them.

That skill saved my life. No exaggeration. It did.

One day my body broke. And I knew it.

It was soon after the birth of my first son and severe hypothyroidism suddenly took over my body.

If you’ve ever reached rock bottom with thyroid disease with a fatigue so deep that you have no words to describe it, you know what I am saying.

If you struggle with a chronic illness, you know by now, that it is more than likely invisible to the people around you. It is just too difficult to explain to people that have never lived in your shoes.

In that dark hole I reached my arms up and grabbed a hold of every scientific study that I could get my hands on. One paper at a time I made it out and I will forever be grateful.

I launched the website Hypothyroid Mom in 2012 to share all that I had discovered and it spread over the internet like wildfire. At 1.5 million followers, I cannot believe how blessed I am to have a beautiful supportive community around the world.

17 years for medical research to translate into medical practice

I soon realized that what I was uncovering in the scientific literature was about more than thyroid disease. I had gleaned bright pearls of wisdom that dropped from the minds of researchers onto the pages of their articles. These magnificent pearls could help every person optimize their health.

I welcome you to join me on my new journey. The Yes Healthier blog is the virtual biology classroom straight out of my Alice in Wonderland dreams to notate all my ramblings about the wondrous science of the body. It is the place for me to spread my wings.

I will invite guests along the way to share their innovative ideas in guest posts too. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the brightest minds over the course of my decade long blogging odyssey. There are brilliant health professionals that have their finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest cutting-edge research. They are out there. I became a certified functional health coach to teach clients an innovative approach to wellness. No pressure, ever, by the way. If you decide to apply to work with me, wonderful. If you don’t, I am happy you are here. 

If just one piece of information from my articles helps you be healthier, it will all be worth it.

Be well, my readers.

That is my hope.

Come join me as I take a whirl through the scientific research. It will be different. That I promise. I don’t know about you but 17 years is far too long a wait. I want to know what has been published now not 17 years from now.

Information is power, as they say. And oh what power it is.

I read a quote one day by screenwriter Joss Whedon: “Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset.”

17 years for medical research to translate into practice

I get a thrill when I stumble upon a new piece of information in a scientific study like the thrill someone might feel when traveling to a new country or others might feel bungee jumping off of high cliffs or skydiving out of airplanes. 

Maybe that makes me “weird” but who wants to be “normal” anyway?

17 years for medical research to translate into practice

Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini

One day my body suddenly broke from hypothyroidism. I clawed my way back to health by devouring the scientific literature. You see, I was once the team leader of an Ivy League professor’s research team with no clue then that those skills would one day save my life and that my site Hypothyroid Mom would spread across the internet like lightening. And then came the day to share all my other precious health nuggets and Yes! Healthier was born.

Please help spread the word (I appreciate every share!)

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