For nearly nine years, we at QMed, have been teaching, either by delivering lectures, or conducting workshops. In addition, we have helped people with their literature searches for their theses, articles they write, and even systematic reviews. It is indeed wonderful that we have reached out to a huge audience. The crying need in the country is however, tremendous. And we deliberate as to why we are unable to reach out to more, when everyone has praised our programs and sworn that they are very important.
While there are several specific reasons for our workshops not reaching large enough numbers, we believe there are two very core factors that are behind the reasons.
- Low priority
- Minds being conditioned over years
Almost always, the reason for an institution not conducting our workshops, is the lack of time, or lack of funds, or an interesting reason – not knowing which budget to spend from! To us it appears that these reasons are quoted more because of the low priority to teach / learn literature searching and reference management. Very often students get away with poor referencing because their guides do not bother to check each reference. When they do, they only point out something like “these are too old – find new ones”, but are unable to guide students better. So for students, it is all about “getting the job done”.
Another interesting response was “We also need to see if we can make some revenue out of this”. Comments like these seem to emerge from conditioning over the years. We wonder – Is there a feeling that every activity must result in revenues for the department or institution? Aren’t there thinkers who believe in the importance of such workshops, and are ready to go out of their way to make them happen?
The lack of time often is on the side of the drivers too. Senior people have agreed that they will support our workshops and drive them, but follow up emails have not got us responses beyond “we will revert”. And so – we at QMed continue to delve into the minds of our target audience to see when we can crack the shell and reach right in!
And yet… just as we worry, the Universe gives us one or more good experiences which let us know that there is lots of hope. On the 28th of this month (Aug 2016), we conducted a workshop in Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune, for their consultants. At the end of it, not only were all 30 of them very happy, but they actually mentioned that it will now help them help their DNB students lots more, and that they would definitely conduct more workshops soon. This was one institution, where we practically had to make no efforts. One of their consultants – Dr Gauri Oka had heard my lecture earlier, and she, with the hospital’s research department planned and organized the entire workshop meticulously.
And so, QMed will not give up 🙂