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Making Medical Knowledge$
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Miriam Solomon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732617.001.0001

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What Is Translational Medicine?

What Is Translational Medicine?

(p.155) 7 What Is Translational Medicine?
Making Medical Knowledge

Miriam Solomon

Oxford University Press

Translational medicine emerged in the early 2000s. Its main focus (T1) is “bench to bedside and back” research. This chapter argues that the focus on evidence-based medicine in the 1990s obscured the need for different methods in the context of discovery. Translational medicine recommends trial-and-error methods, along with mechanistic (pathophysiological) reasoning, to develop interventions which can then be tested in evidence-based medicine. Translational medicine also recommends changes in the social structure of research. Although Martin Wehling argues that we need more methodological rigor in translational medicine, this chapter is skeptical about whether such rigor is possible. With the metaphor of translation, translational medicine also offers hope that early failures in genetic technology and stem cell research can be surmounted. A subsidiary focus of translational medicine is T2, consisting of dissemination of research from “bedside to community.” T2 continues the work of medical consensus conferences.

Keywords:   translational medicine, bench to bedside, metaphor, discovery, mechanistic reasoning, pathophysiological reasoning, Martin Wehling, T1, T2, consensus conference

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