Professor Anna Shalimova

How to choose your path in research. A personal experience.

ISH Words of Wisdom

Not so long ago, I was also a young scientist, and therefore your doubts regarding the chosen path, the search of yourself, and everything that you can feel during this period are very close to me.

Today, thanks to the International Society of Hypertension, I have the opportunity to give a commencement talk and share my experience.

It seems to me that there is not any universal advice, since each of us has their own path in research, own speed of conquering certain peaks and own goals, which only ourselves can truly understand.

But nevertheless, I would like to say that no matter what scientific plans are in front of you and how large-scale your research in the study of hypertension will be, remember about the art of small steps, which is also necessary in your scientific path. After all, the most famous scientists and even Nobel laureates, in particular, started somewhere and systematically developed in some direction, eventually achieving great success and recognition.

That is why it is very important for you to choose from one to three directions in research, on which you can really seriously focus and study in details. At the same time, it is quite possible that over time your scientific interests will expand and that the one which was of no interest to you at the beginning of your professional way actually may become a matter of your whole life.

Therefore, one more piece of advice is that you should look for yourself and despite some doubts and failures (because any scientist will surely have them), do not give up and continue developing.

When it comes to the professional formation, of course, it is very important to find the right teachers who are not only highly qualified specialists, but who can also become real mentors for you. I believe that I was lucky to find those teachers in my life, and at all stages of my professional formation there have been people which I can call my teachers. But I would especially like to mention the person who, in my opinion, made the greatest contribution to my formation as a researcher in the field of hypertension. I mean the well-known hypertensive specialist, ex-president of the European Society of Hypertension, the Head of the Clinic and the Department of hypertension and diabetology at the Medical University of Gdansk (Poland), Professor Krzysztof Narkiewicz. Professor Narkiewicz has become for me not only an example of a real scientist, learning from who is really a great honor, but also an example of a leader who knows how to create a team of professionals and like-minded people around him. I can say with confidence that the year in the team of Professor Narkiewicz as a Postdoc was the most important year for my further professional formation!

Therefore, one more piece of advice – learn from the best and be grateful to our teachers! After all, development and training under the guidance of the best teachers will not only bring you closer to your goals, but will also allow you to become the best mentor for one of your students in the future. I sincerely wish you this!

Good luck and successful implementation of your goals!

Professor Anna Shalimova, Department of Internal Medicine N1, Kharkiv National Medical University, Ukraine