Dear Research Assistant…The Buzzfeed Research Manual

We just hired some design/patient advocacy/research assistants for the summer to help create our #health + #design movement (yes this is linkbait to get you to sign up for the movement! Website coming soon and mailing list is here). Woohoo! We are in the throes of training and just created our manual, but felt that a millennial Buzzfeed version might be appropriate. Enjoy! @joyclee and Emily

Dear Research Assistant,

Thank you in advance for your future contributions to our work. We are excited to work with you, but we first wanted to share with you some simple rules of thumb to follow!

1. Don’t show up to clinic looking like this:

or this:

or this:

No leotards, tanktops, shorts, sweatpants, sneakers, jeans, and no “clubbing” attire: (miniskirts, flip-flops, open-toed shoes).

Sorry, but this is the price you pay for joining the healthcare “enterprise”.

2. Don’t be late and don’t forget to wear your ID!

Michigan time doesn’t apply to the clinic.

You need to be identified as a member of the community and wear you ID so that it is visible at all times (with a lanyard or a clip attached to your clothing).

3. Always introduce yourself to the staff and patients

We will put up pictures like this of you in the staff room…

but it doesn’t hurt to be friendly.

4. Remember the patients and caregivers are the experts!

They know more about their health and disease than any healthcare provider. Treat them with the utmost respect!

The time they spend with you and the wisdom they share is like gold!

5. Don’t be a Millennial or act like the most important person in clinic

Remove the word “Meh” from your vocabulary.

You are not and will never be Oprah.

Please be aware of the delicate balance of the clinic flow, which is based on the generosity of everyone in clinic.

6. When the clinician walks through the door, that’s your cue to leave.

“Hello I’m Dr. Know-it-All. Scram young one.”

Yup that’s you, jumping out the nonexistent window ASAP! Our patients often see multiple providers so you can pop in before the visit or between providers. If the family is willing to engage with you longer, you can ask to meet up after the visit in the waiting room.

Don’t stay in the exam room after the visit, otherwise, room traffic will build up, and..

The providers and staff will get VERY VERY cranky!

7. Don’t forget to explain why the research/work is important!

Inspire them to participate!

8. Don’t lose the iPads!

Or the University and Dr. Lee will not be happy

9. The hospital is not Facebook; do not share patient data/information/names!

What happens in the hospital stays in the hospital. No identifying information about patients should be shared online, even in private Facebook groups.

Mum’s the word!

10. Be professional, and please please don’t ruin Dr. Lee’s delicate reputation.

She works so hard to maintain her 31 page CV and her modest Twitter following. It would be such a shame if it all fell to pieces…

I love twitter. Follow me there: I post about healthcare and design on Medium (, you can more information about me here, and you can find me tweeting about #design, #hcsm, #mhealth, and #dataviz on my handle: @joyclee. For blogpost updates, sign up here.

Please join the movement!