Engage Parents in the Waiting Room!

June 1, 2014 (old blog)

On Friday I attended the Department of Pediatrics’ 1st Annual Research Day at the University of Alberta. I’m glad to hear this research day will become an annual event as what a great opportunity it was for the department’s clinicians, researchers, and trainees to gather and talk about children’s health and current research.

Friday’s keynote speaker was clinician-scientist Dr. Jonathon Maguire from the University of Toronto. He presented his outlook on research, and what an inspiration he was! At one point he said, “As a practicing physician, I notice parents and their children spend a lot of time in the clinic waiting room before their child’s well-visit… what a great opportunity to collect data from children!” … I was immediately engrossed.

Given that Jonathan has years of experience on me, I thought it appropriate to ask him for advice… did he have any words of wisdom for the RIPPLE project, a project that similar to his will recruit parents and children in the waiting room? Turns out his best piece of advice was to establish rapport with families. Parents are always busy, and not surprisingly, they need a sufficient rationale as to why they should take the time to participate in research.

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