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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
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 -

Wishing a you a great holiday season!


The Audience - Nursing Research Society of India
The Audience - Nursing Research Society of India
Workshop at Patiala
Workshop at Patiala

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!


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 if you could give us any ideas or suggestions. Thank you so much! 

Our courses - at
Our courses - at

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


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



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Organization Information

QMed Knowledge Foundation

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @QMedKF
Project Leader:
Vasumathi Sriganesh
Mumbai, Maharashtra India
$41,202 raised of $50,000 goal
599 donations
$8,798 to go
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