Oct 14, 2014

The Cochrane Collaboration and MECOR recognize QMed's work!

Cochrane Colloquium Fund Raising Poster
Cochrane Colloquium Fund Raising Poster

In our last two reports we shared stories of how we helped build capacity in students and how they felt about our help. This time we would like to share a different side. We are pleased to tell you how two International organizations have recognized our capacity building efforts. The organizations are:

  1. The Cochrane Collaboration - a non-profit body of a network of medical researchers engaged in promoting evidence based health care and policy.
  2. MECOR - a program of the American Thoracic Society that empowers researchers in developing countries with the skills to do better medical research. 

MECOR has been conducting workshops in India every alternate year and we have delivered lectures, thanks to invitations from the local partners. This year the MECOR team directly wrote to us saying "We cannot imagine doing the workshop without you"! At the end of the session, they have requested that we professionallly video-record our lecture because they believe it will help the capacity building in other developing countries, where they conduct such workshops. They have offered to support us for this activity. 

The Cochrane Collaboration held its annual Colloquium in India this year, for the first time. A group felt that they should use the opportunity to encourage registered delegates to donate to a deserving non-profit in the country, and they chose QMed as the recipient NGO! This group designed a poster for this purpose and also wrote about us in the Cochrane Newsletter (link below). We were provided a stall space where people could interact with us, learn about us, and donate to us. We also got to speak about QMed at a plenary session. We raised a modest sum, but we got very high visibility. Another noteworthy achievement was that a group of trainers who conducted a workshop have invited us to be part of the workshop team for the next year, as they found that we had a better understanding of developing country participants and their training needs. 

We are really happy that our work is getting recognized so well and that our skills may soon help other developing countries too. It encourages us to believe that our E-Learning courses will be helpful outside India too. The portal's infrastructure is now ready and we are now busy with the course contents. We are targetting January 2015, for the launch.

Meanwhile, in September and October we have delivered lectures 13 lectures on literature searching (two will be done next week) in medical colleges. Majority of the participants were resident doctors and some were faculty. We also conducted two half day workshops - one for 30 medical school students and one for ten students of a Masters in Optometry course. 

We express a heartfelt thanks to each one of you 118 donors who have collectively given us 137 donations to reach where we have. The international recognitions that we shared with you were really unexpected and we hope the credibility that we are able to demonstrate through these, help you support us once again, and also spread the word about our work further. The bonus day on October 15 would be a great opportunity to donate once more as your donation would get us bonsuses from Global Giving!

Our first donor at the Cochrane Colloquium
Our first donor at the Cochrane Colloquium


Aug 11, 2014

'An undergrad medical student - and I have a research publication in PubMed"!

Bhavik Shah's poster at Medicon
Bhavik Shah's poster at Medicon

Bhavik Shah is a final year medical student. He shares with us - how QMed made a difference in his quest to learn research methods:

I study in a premier medical college in India. At the undergraduate level there is no exposure to research. In my second year, I applied for the Short Term Studentship program of the  Indian Council of Medical Research. My project was not selected, but I was lucky to be selected to present it at 'Medicon'. Medicon is an annual conference for undergrad medical students. It was in this event, I learned how to search medical literature from Mrs. Vasumathi Sriganesh, founder of QMed. She delivered a lecture on this topic, at a workshop on Evidence Based Medicine. I took a lot of notes. I realized that I had hardly known anything about this!

A year later, a faculty member in my college encouraged me to submit two case reports. I referred to all my notes to do the search, and this helped me complete two manuscripts in a month! I submitted them to a PubMed indexed journal with a good impact factor. After a couple of revisions, (now that sounds quick, while I was doing the revisions, the intervals seemed long!) one morning I finally heard the 'magic ping' in my Blackberry - giving me the good news - "It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript for publication"!! 

Here is the link to my article.  Thank you QMed - directly from the left ventricle of my heart :) You have no idea how grateful I am for the workshop at Medicon! 

Bhavik Shah


In the last two months we have delivered seven lectures in medical schools, and conducted a workshop for faculty of a dental college in Bijapur.  Bijapur is a small town which is an overnight journey from our city of Mumbai

We were also part of this year's Medicon - where we were invited to deliver a lecture on literature searching at a preconference workshop on research methodology . Medicon appreciated our support and acknowledged us on their banner!

QMed's E-Learning portal is progressing well. We hope to announce the launch date in our next report if things go as planned. Thank you all for your support! And a special thanks to all those who contributed in July - we raised around $650 during the bonus day.  Do continue to support us and please do share our stories with your friends. 

QMed's support - mentioned in the workshop banner
QMed's support - mentioned in the workshop banner
Jun 9, 2014

Student story: "Five clicks are all it takes - from problem to solution"

Vidya Giri Shankar
Vidya Giri Shankar

Vidya Giri Shankar is a recent medical graduate. She attended QMed's workshop on searching medical literature. She shares with us: 

"With QMed’s guidance I am now able to access my most specific requirements of journal articles and definitive answers to therapeutic dilemmas. I come straight to the answers, without having to exhaust hours of unnecessary inputs. My experience with QMed has been transformational in the way I approach and use scientific data. And what is most fascinating is QMed’s principles can be applied universally.  Five clicks are all it takes to go from problem to solution."

 In our last report (March 2014)  we mentioned about how medical schools wanted to have our workshops for students, but were constrained due to exams. And we were keen to do some soon. We then had a wonderful idea - "why not offer workshops in QMed's office instead? We could do this for individuals and up to groups of four. And the participants would get more personal attention”.

So we announced this plan on our website. And we almost instantly had requests from three UG students, who came and went through two workshops. Vidya was one of them. Later, we also had a few young consultants who attended. All of them have promised to teach students whom they mentor!

All our efforts have only proved strongly that E-Learning modules are urgently needed to reach out to students all over India. And we are happy to let you know that our portal is progressing very well. Two of us from QMed had a day long interaction with Ballistic Learning (the portal developers) in the end of May to review the progress and make our next level plans. The work is intense but we are loving every minute of it.

Heartfelt thanks to all those who made an additional contribution on our Bonus Day on May 7. We raised $1087 on that date and got a 30% bonus for this. Some contributors gave after the Bonus Day and we raised another $2080 in the next few days.

Each one of you who has contributed since September 2013, is playing an important role in improving Indian healthcare through an important change in the medical education system. We hope more people will join this effort and we are sure that the E-Learning portal will make exponential changes! And we will work to ensure that changes happen in every medical school in India.  

Manthan, Vidya & Nikhilesh at our Workshop@QMed
Manthan, Vidya & Nikhilesh at our Workshop@QMed
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