Oct 24, 2019

Major progress with our Online Courses!

Our courses - at https://qmed.mediknit.org
Our courses - at https://qmed.mediknit.org

We are really excited to share about the developments with our Online (ELearning) Courses

Two New Courses

First - we have just added two new courses - "Mastering PubMed: Advanced" and "Reference Management with Mendeley". Those who register, get access to all three courses, and those who had registered for our first course will now get access to these two. Getting the two new courses up and running made us go through some challenging times, but we are finally all ready. 

Sign up for 1000 users by a large Academy 

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education has signed up for 1000 (One thousand) users to learn from our courses. The participants will be from three different medical colleges of the Academy. 

Getting this to happen was again a fairly lengthy process. Nine faculty from across the three institutions studied our online course thoroughly. All of them gave great feedback. Then I was invited to participate in a meeting of all their Vice Chancellors and present about us. I happened to be overseas then, and they were kind enough to have me present virtually. They conveyed their appreciation not only for our courses but for our commitment and then in some time, told us that they would want 1000 people registered. 

MAHE is a respected institution in the country and we hope that with  them having come on board, we could soon have still more institutions join us. After all - our mission is to reach out our knowledge across India. 

Going ahead

With these major developments, we hope that we can bring you lots more good stories in our next few reports. It is difficult to express how much every single donation has helped us. And of course not just donations but the encouraging messages & good luck messages that you send us, keep us going through the ups and downs. 

Do stay with us, while we share more stories. We want you to feel great  about your contributions - and see how the future generations of doctors and health professionals are growing with this much needed knowledge! 

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Deepavali from India!

Vasumathi Sriganesh

Links:

Sep 20, 2019

We were delighted to discover that our teaching has spread further!

Recently three residents in dentistry, from a Dental College visited our office. Their research guide had earlier called and requested for an appointment. Each one of them was working on a systematic review. They needed help with search strategies that they had worked on. They showed me their attempts.

A small background about this visit. The guide who called me had organized a workshop in December 2017 in their institution. When she called and explained, I had assumed that these residents had attended this workshop and were coming for futher help.

The three explained that as part of a project submission, they were required to do either a "Literature Review" or a "Systematic Review", and their institution wanted them to work on the latter. 

I checked each resident's search strategy. As expected, it certainly was not done very well. This is not surprising as a search strategy for a systematic review is a tough activity and requires thorough training and practice. These residents have certainly not had the required level of training and neither had any of their faculty guides. 

I explained how they needed to modify their approach, using technical terms that I teach in our workshops. They understood well, absorbed several instructions that I gave, repeated some of them for clarity and said that they would rework their strategies and send them to me.

At the end of this exercise, I asked them a question about the 2017 workshop. It was then that they mentioned that they had not attended our workshop. It was their seniors who had, and they had taught these residents the search steps. 

I was very happy to learn about this, even though they had not produced great strategies. As I explained, search strategies for systematic reviews are tough to do. What I was happy about was, that their seniors had done a pretty good job of teaching them the fundamentals that we had taught them. If these residents could understand all that I mentored them with (with an assumption that they had attended our workshop), then that was an achievement in its own!  In the long run, this is what we want. Empowering people in institutions so that skills spread across the institution quickly. 

Coming back to this small group, it was also important to note, that couple of hours of mentoring from me, made them feel reasonably confident about tackling their strategies. Further - I also explained to them, that in their given time frames, a systematic review would be difficult to do. Ideally a systematic review requires at least three authors not just to share the work load, but also to minimize the bias in selecting studies for synthesizing the research question. I suggested to them that for their University submission, it was better to do a literature revew, and if they were further interested, they could work in groups for longer, to do a systematic review. They understood this clearly and said they would talk to their guides about this. 

This mentoring event made us feel satisfied that we were guiding people well. But what was most important was to observe the percolation of our efforts. If institutions were making efforts to spread the foundational learnings they got through our workshops, then we can take our teaching and skill building levels higher!  With our introducing more online courses in the immediate future, we believe that we are on the road to elevating the teaching that we do. That is an achievement

As always - a big thank you for being a part of the change that we are working at. Your support counts. And we look forward to more  - till we reach our targets!

Ideally do consider giving a recurrning donation of just $10. It makes a large difference

Vasumathi

Aug 2, 2019

"QMed's workshops should be conducted at all centres of the Indian Council of Medical Research"

Workshop of the day
Workshop of the day
"This workshop should be conducted at all ICMR institutions" ...


declared a few senior scientists of the ICMR Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, Orissa. 

In July we were invited to conduct a special two day workshop at the ICMR RMRC, Bhubaneswar. We had twenty five participants - a mix of Students of a Masters Degree in Public Health, PhD scholars, medical doctors and other research personnel. The Director of the Institute also wanted to attend the two day workshop, but was called to the headquarters for something important. 

The program was customized for this audience. Apart from teaching Literature searching, PubMed and Mendeley, we also taught them the method of doing a sensitive, systematic search in both PubMed and the Cochrane Library, for finding studies to do a Systematic Review. 

What was very special about this workshop? 

We had tried for long to get to do a workshop for the ICMR, but it did not happen for various reasons. We wanted them to go through our workshop to sensitize them for the need for such skill building in the country, if we wanted great research outputs.

At the end of the two day session, senior scientists declared that every ICMR institute should organize our workshop for all their personnel! 

This comment was very important for us. It really brought home something we always suspected - that the skills we teach are much needed at the highest levels too. 

The Indian Council of Medical Research is the premier body for medical research in India. Headquartered in the country's capital city of New Delhi, it has twenty six institutions in various parts of the country. 

Workshop in full swing
Workshop in full swing
Matter of pride -  ICMR & QMed logos together!
Matter of pride - ICMR & QMed logos together!
 
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