Guest post: Dr Priyadarshini Kulkarni, Palliative Care Physician

I am a Palliative Care physician. I ventured to do a part time MSc in Palliative Care, with an International University. One element of this program was to write a systematic review on a topic as part of the thesis fulfillment. I had never done one before. And time was really scarce considering my work commitments and learning something new for research purposes. (A palliative care physician mostly sees patients in their terminal stages, and so cannot afford to delay attending to them).

I was worried about the literature searching requirement, as I had never done a systematic search at any time. I probably could have got help from a University representative for this,but  I delayed in asking (as I had less time at hand). And then i came to know about QMed and Vasumathi Sriganesh through  a senior doctor colleague. He was so confident about her involvement in the project once taken, that he assured me that QMed and Vasumathi in particular will meet my needs.

Soon I called her.  She was very sympathetic to my needs and assured me that she would help me to the best of her capacity. First I went to Mumbai for a four hour workshop. It was a one to one session! When I returned that evening, I knew that she would definitely be hand holding me through this journey.

Then started everyday phone / skype calls, asking for help with every little thing, whether it was related to searching / referencing or not. I would ask her questions, and even more than me she was eager to find those things as quickly as possible!. If she couldn’t find them using all the resources she had, she would come back quickly and honestly to tell me that we needed to do something else!.

It was so… good to have her to share my tension, difficulty and the shoulder to put my worries on, when I could not handle things sometimes – she was very understanding and reassuring. She would assure me that I really was already doing a lot of work, that we were “almost there”, and that I should do “this” (something specific), this might help… etc… very polite suggestions but they were all worth considering. The help continued till the last day and till the last hour of submission.

Of course my tutor was there to correct me at every step but Vasumathi (supported by her colleagues) was always there for me. Thanks a lot for everything! And hope I do research in near future with your support!!

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From QMed: Just a couple of days back, we got the happy news that Dr Priyadarshini’s thesis was approved! We were as delighted as she was. It was good to know that we could help a lot. Apart from the literature search and referencing, we helped her with several full text articles, using Covidence and generating the PRISMA diagram for her review. We must add that she was very sincere in all her efforts to learn and work at the review. She was kind enough not to mention some delays on our side, and also put up with them. 

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