Why study qualitative research at the graduate level?
The presence of theory-driven qualitative research designs in the health sciences represents not only opportunities to expand the lens through which health-related issues and problems are studied, understood, and tackled, but can also produce new knowledge to inform practice. Learning qualitative research is also foundational to thorough scientific literacy. Health care practitioners and graduates who have advanced training in qualitative research can greatly expand their repertoire of research endeavours and collaborations and enhance their employment opportunities. Qualitative research is a way to do science differently and, as such, it creates an opportunity for clinicians to think socially and qualitatively about professional and health care issues. The skill of thinking qualitatively about patients’ understandings of their worlds, seeing experiences through their eyes, and considering their contexts and backgrounds has significant potential to expand health care practice and improve outcomes.