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 Education  India Project #14455

Helping medical students become better doctors

by QMed Knowledge Foundation
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
Helping medical students become better doctors
At the Informatics Conference
At the Informatics Conference

The year 2020 started off with a bang - with a schedule of two lectures and one workshop in January. The first lecture was in an event for about nearly 100 Clinical Pharmacologists and had lovely feedback from participants from all over India. The second lecture was in an event organized by the Telemedicine Society of India and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Health Informatics of the MGUMST. This event was for everyone working in any area of health informatics.The theme of the event was Workforce Development in Digital Health.  I was invited to speak on "Skills to Frame Online Searches". 

The first part of my talk was about what I teach to upskill searching. In the second part, I shared my observations over so many years - the lacuna, the upskilling needed, and the dangers of not doing so. I told the audience that searching is not something learned once and then simply carried out; there is a lot of upgrading to do in these skills. I suggested the need for developing professionals in this area and the need for institutions to plan for employing such skilled people and paying them right. 

The twenty minute talk was highly appreciated. The first comment was about how I had explained everything very lucidly, and I was really glad to have got my points across well. Advocacy needs clear communication and I was happy that this had worked. I was then inundated with questions about how QMed could help different institutions and their students and faculty, and still better - I got the offer for help in my planning and future directions, from a person who is an expert in education and intellectual property related matters.

As I said - 2020 started off well. I look forward to a workshop that I will be conducting in the coming week - for Family Physicians, as part of their conference. 

With the new year, we hope that GlobalGiving will be able to solve the challenges with the Indian Govermental regulations soon too! We once again wish you a Happy New Year and look forward to your support this year too. 

Audience at the Canvas of Clinical Pharmacology
Audience at the Canvas of Clinical Pharmacology
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Another year is coming to an end, and we will enter into a brand new year soon. Let me share good things that have happened during the last month of 2019

We worked on a plan to release an Online Course - "Introduction to Literature Searching" - as a free module very soon. The contents will include the tip of the proverbial iceberg that represents the depth of our courses. But we are certain that even this small free module will make a big difference to our audience, as the iceberg tip contains the most crucial ABCs of searching. We actually dream that all of them will register and do our larger courses for comprehensive learning.

We have always said that our audience "don't know what they don't know". We believe that this small course will not only help them realize what they do not know, but actually do something about it! Do wish us the best for this. 

We had earlier shared that a large University (MAHE) had signed up with us for a 1000 people to take our courses. Some of the faculty in the University have started, some have finished two out of three courses, and while most of those who finished, gave a high rating, some have shared good feedback too. 

A wonderful thing that has happened on our GlobalGiving project page this year is that we have had donations from several unknown people! We focused on learning a lot from GlobalGiving. By doing so, and reporting our learning, we got a higher visibility on their list of projects. It appears that this has helped donations come in from people we do not know. A big thank you to all of them (oh yes, we did write to them personally too!) 

We are praying hard that GlobalGiving will be able to resume disbursements to India soon - and that the hopefully short term challenges with the Indian Government requirements are sorted out soon. We know it will happen, and we are visualizing it all the time. 

In 2020, we dream about

  • Creating still more online courses - including some special ones for students of undergraduate health science courses
  • Reaching out to more parts of India to enable more students and professionals to learn from us
  • Having talks with the councils that govern all health sciences education streams to see how best they can integrate our teachings in their respective curricula
  • Giving our donors and well wishers updates about great progress in our work!

Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! With your support we know we will grow very well in the coming year

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With other faculty of the workshop by the Society
With other faculty of the workshop by the Society

Recently I was invited to deliver a lecture for residents of a specialty. The event was organized by members of a society of that specialty, and the editorial board members of the journal that this society runs. They had indicated that 80 residents had registered and there was a possibility of the number going up to around 100 residents. At that event, there were other speakers who were speaking on different aspects of research. 

I was given an hour to cover two topics. I usually ask for an hour for each of my topics. Recognizing that the hosts were trying to cover a lot in one day, I was happy to cover both in an hour. It of course meant that I had to do a fair amount of reworking of my presentations to see what would be the most important parts that I needed to retain and how I would crunch things. Again, I was glad to do this for such an event. 

On the day, I reached the venue and I was rather surprised to find only 15 residents there. And, the event was running late by an hour. It was disconcerting. I was hoping more people would walk in, but it was barely a couple more that did. I was thinking to myself "why am I doing so much for events like this". 

Later, I learned from the organizers that they had done similar events in other cities, and had had a much larger number of attendees. It was only in our city that the turn out was low. They also mentioned that sometimes seniors / faculty, do not let residents attend such events. (This often happens when there is a large patient load, but again, that is a more or less regular occurrence in India)  One of the leading officers of the Society and Journal said "We will keep doing this event, even if there are very few people".  I then decided that I too would help them - if they invited me another time I would go again!

In mid November, I conducted one workshop in a medical college in Patiala, near Chandigarh. Here we had a total of around 30 participants, mostly postgraduate residents and a small number of faculty members.I also delivered three lectures at an event organized by the Nursing Research Society of India for around 240 members of the Nursing profession - a mix of Postgraduate students, PhD Scholars and faculty

In early December, I delivered lectures at two colleges - one for those studying Ayurveda and one for those studying Homeopathy.The target audience were of 50 and 40 postgraduate residents.

Thank you again for your support!

I would once again remind - please do not donate to us via GlobalGiving, till the issue with the Govt of India gets resolved. We hope it does very soon, as GlobalGiving is important to us. 

If getting a tax exemption is not crucial to you, do consider donating to us directly via - https://www.qmed.ngo/donate-dm

Wishing a you a great holiday season!

Vasumathi

The Audience - Nursing Research Society of India
The Audience - Nursing Research Society of India
Workshop at Patiala
Workshop at Patiala
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In the recent times some young doctors who had attended our workshops during their residency days got in touch with us - just to say hello, and let us know that our workshops are still helping them. We asked some of them if they would send a short video clip to share about the usefulness. 

Here is Dr Saurabha - telling us how what she learned helps her in her job in the National Centre for Disease Control in India. Saurabha and some of her batchmates have always been spreading the word about our workshops to their juniors too. 

We recently conducted two workshop in a hospital. While most participants were consultants and residents from the hospital, they accommodated some outside healthcare workers too. We had two medical students who shared with us:

  • I am an undergrad and would love to learn more and explore new courses
  • Thank you ma’am for this amazing workshop. Didn’t know how to access and use the different options available on PubMed before this. A must -attend lecture for all UGs

We also had one doctor from the hospital who has promised to help spread the word about our workshops and online courses. 

Here are some comments on our Online Courses

  • This is something that I feel all medical students – especially post graduates should know. However it is one of the most underrated aspects of medical education. The course was flawless.
    - A Surgeon

  • I saw the video lectures on how to search for medical literature and I want to salute you for your clarity, expression and above all the humongous effort to make the video on such an important topic. I have immense respect for what you have done. May God bless you!
    - A Surgeon

  • Excellent Madam, I am really enjoying this course. It is as if slowly the things are becoming much clearer
    - Prof of Community Medicine - (half way through the course)

Every such comment and testimonial makes me want to thank every single donor for making all this happen! We hope to be flooded with more and more of such good words. Do check out the link with all testimonials and also do check the link to our Online Courses. 

Thank you once again for everything!

Links:

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We have shared several success stories. But behind these, we face several challenges and we have shared some of them on and off. I feel that we need to share these more regularly, for two reasons.

  1. We are trying to expand our work and challenges are almost an integral part of any expansion
  2. We hope to get ideas and suggestions from you. 

So from now, I will be sending some emails with challenges that we face. I am working at getting many success stories too and they will, as usual reach you, to let you taste the successes too!

Recently I delivered two lectures - one on literature searching and one on reference management, at a University. About 150 people attended these. Around 30 were from a scientific research department, a few were senior faculty, and the majority were postgraduate residents. A very senior official told me that these residents were resistant to learning anything beyond what was mandated! That came as a surprise to me. I happened to notice that during my talks, they hardly participated. It was the research department team that was very interactive. 

It would be easy to say that once the skills we teach are mandated in the curriculum, residents would pay more attention and want to learn. But I think two things are important for what we teach to be well received. 

  1. It is not just about mandating this teaching in the curriculum; it has to be started in the medical school days. That is the time that students are in a "learning mode" . During residency they are all in the "patient care" mode and while they do have to study a lot, time is a serious pressure. If they had the fundamentals very clear in their learning days, additional learning is much easier at this stage.

  2. It also depends on how the faculty in institutions put things across to them. If they themselves have not learned these skills and they have not done enough of researching in their careers, they would subconsciously not stress the importance of this learning. It is important for the Councils, Journal Editors and similar bodies to lay stress on these skills being vital. 

How do we get this learning into the medical school curriculum? And how do we find the right faculty who would do what they can, to push this? Any ideas or suggestions on these points? I would welcome them. I realize that QMed has a more serious advocacy role to play, than I had thought of in our early days. 

Please do write to us at info@qmed.ngo if you could give us any ideas or suggestions. Thank you so much! 

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Organization Information

QMed Knowledge Foundation

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @QMedKF
Project Leader:
Vasumathi Sriganesh
Mumbai, Maharashtra India
$41,822 raised of $50,000 goal
 
616 donations
$8,178 to go
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