Mar 14, 2014

Helping Medical Students Become Better Doctors - Lectures, Workshops, E-Learning modules & more!

We are delighted to share some updates about the first three months of 2014, that is January to March. What is interesting is that we were not exactly able to do what we hoped to do - which was - workshops for Undergrad Medical Students. But several exciting things have developed, which will definitely contribute to our long term dream. Some developments were unexpected. We overall feel that we are entering a very promising phase.

The unexpected: mandate of research workshops: The MUHS (Maharashtra University of Health Sciences)  has made it mandatory for every Resident doctor and faculty member in medical schools to go through Research Methodology workshops. Suddenly we had a flurry of invitations and have delivered around 25 lectures this quarter. At these events, we talked about our workshops and our E-learning project and people are very excited about them. We also conducted three workshops since January (we had UG students in two of these) and will be doing four more this month (March). 

E-Learning: The most exciting activity for us right now is that we are deep into the creation of our E-Learning resources portal. We signed a deal with Ballistic Learning in January, and they are doing an excellent job of creating the necessary infrastructure for our portal. We are hoping to launch it in the middle of this year. We believe that this portal will make a big difference to students and health professionals in the country. 

As I mentioned, with the MUHS mandate, the medical schools got busy and kept us busy with lectures too. This did not allow us to plan workshops exclusively for UG (medical school) students. To make up for this, in future workshops that we organize, we are going to keep registrations free for UG students, and subsidized for residents. And so the contributions you have given us will get distributed between the Elearning programs and our workshops.

We are really happy with the current developments and that we could use your contributions very well! We have also raised an equivalent of about $750 through local resources

Our major requirement right now is for the next phases of the E-Learning portal. We look forward to raising $300 (GBP 180) from about 100 individuals, so that we can get it ready by the middle of this year. Can you help us raise this? 

Dec 10, 2013

Helping medical students become better doctors - Foundational work done in Oct-Nov 2013

It has been two months since we wrote to you. In the end of October we received an additional $1525 and we thank all donors for this; specially  those who donated to us again. We are happy to share with you about the progress of our project. 

  • Five medical schools in  Maharashtra are very happy to have us conduct our workshop for their UG students. Two are in our city and three are in other towns in Maharashtra State. The only reason for the delay in actually implementing workshops is, that there was a small delay in the University exams and the institutions can plan dates only after the exams conclude.
     
  • We have created the content for two E-learning modules. We have had discussions with a company called Ballistic Learning (BL), who are official partners for Moodle - the open source E-learning tool to integrate the modules in Moodle ensuring best learning experience for our students. BL has expressed their interest in taking up our project and working with us. We also learned from our discussions that for the large audience we need to reach out to, the developmental and technological costs will be much higher than we estimated (tentatively around $25000), and hence we have to steadily plan for larger funding and revenue generation

In a nutshell, we have been able to do a lot of 'back-end' work for the project, and will be able to start the workshops only when the exams issue settles and the institutions are ready to hold them. This is beyond our control and is an unexpected situation. But we have definitely generated the interest, got the nods and have done a lot in the E-learning area, which will support participants once they do our workshop. We are sure that once we start the workshops, we will be able to share many stories of happy students!  

And while wishing all of you a Very Happy Festive Season - Merry Christmas and New Year, we'd welcome any additional contributions from those of you who are in the USA and UK; this can help you with your tax exemptions.  For those in the UK - we are now registered on Global Giving UK too - so you can avail of tax benefits too.

US based donors - can contribute at http://www.globalgiving.org/14455 

UK based donors - can contribute at http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/14455

Oct 9, 2013

Helping medical students become better doctors - Making plans

At the end of September 30, 2013, we at QMed Knowledge Foundation had a lovely feeling of warmth in our hearts. We had received $7176 from 92 donors. We also received around $970 through two individuals who wished to contribute in our local currency. What has been wonderful is that you have contributed with full faith, that we will utilize the money to do something important and that we will do our best. Thank you!. We believe we have your best wishes, for us to do our best now. 

We have documented plans that include

  1. Creating E-learning modules (we are already working on these)
  2. Conduct five workshops, which will reach out to about 125 undergraduate students of health sciences
  3. Create a strong feedback and monitoring system
  4. Provide support for a year for the 125 workshop participants

We were also really lucky that just as the Open Challenge ended, and we made these plans, there was a National Conference in Health Professions Education (NCHPE 2013) in our city of Mumbai. My colleague and project partner Lakshmi and I attended this event. We attended two preconference workshops, one of which was on using Moodle for E-learning modules (which helped us). We got to interact with several educators and discuss this project with them. We have generated enthusiasm amongst them and it was great that we got to do this at this event. 

We have, for long wanted to do these workshops for undergraduate health science students. Our major deterrent was funding. With your contribution and that of all donors, we are sure we will make a great beginning, and we'd once again like to thank you for his contribution. I would specially like to share that one of the contributors to our cause was Dr. Eugene Garfield, a world renowned information scientist, who I had met in May 2013, on the day I received an International Award. Getting a contribution from his Trust is a major reaffirmation for us. Do watch out for more reports from us, and we welcome any suggestions you may have.

Regards

Vasumathi Sriganesh

 
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