March 2014 was another dream month for QMed. There were many ‘first time’ moments for us in this month. For the first time an institution invited us to conduct three full-day workshops on PubMed Basics and Advanced. For the first time an institution had organized such a workshop for a large number of post-graduate students (first and second and year students). The invitation was from Bapuji Dental College in Davangere, Karnataka to conduct workshops for MDS students and faculty of their college. We had a total of 99 participants.
The interactions, the participation, the response – everything was great. The participants were disciplined and focused. Their eagerness was reflected in their efforts put in group exercises.
Each day based on the feedback we would try to make improvements in the workshop for the next day. We got some very interesting feedback. The best one being from a first year MDS student, ” It was helpful and I had fun. You guys are doing a great job ‘AND’ helping a lot of people ‘OR’ students ‘NOT’ like many others. Keep up the good work”.
Though a few of them felt that the content covered was intense and the workshop should be spread over two-three days we believe that even if they retain 50% of what is taught the rest they could help each other out. (Interestingly none of the I year PGs gave this feedback!)
Though the content coverage on all the three days was the same, the participant group was different and that made of a lot of difference to the overall experience. This experience once again made us feel that literature search should be taught in the early stages of professional education because in the initial years the students are free from patient load and hence are at a better position to learn. We would like to thank the Principal of the college Dr Sadashiva Shetty, Dr Tarun Kumar and Dr KN Sumanth of Melaka Manipal Dental College, who referred us to Dr Kumar for inviting us to Bapuji Dental and for giving your students the opportunity to learn the important aspects of literature searching.
We organized and conducted a workshop on Mendeley in Mumbai. In this group we had a more of students, (three UGs as well!) and a few faculty/practitioners. The group was very enthusiastic and enjoyed the process of learning to organize their references. And yes, in this workshop too we got the feedback which we get often, “if only I had learnt this before doing Phd..”
This again reinforced our belief that literature search and reference management should be included in the medical curriculum.
Contributed by: Lakshmi Padmanabhan