Development and implementation of a competency-based module for teaching research methodology to medical undergraduates.
Patra S, Khan AM J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Aug 30;8:164 PMID:31544129
The authors did this study as a part of a FAIMER fellowship program (CMCL-FAIMER). It aimed to develop and carry out a “competency-based research methodology” training module for undergraduate students and get the students’ feedback on this. It was carried out in the Community Medicine Department, for 25 students in their 4th semester . The study was done in the year 2017.
This group of 25 students were made to work in groups under supervision of senior residents and faculty. It appears that the students worked on a single topic, but did data collection individually and then assessed the entire data. They were, in this way initiated into understanding the research process.
It was interesting to learn that more than 60% felt that this exercise motivated them to do research in future! Also that their self perceived gain in knowledge was 4 or 5 as a median in a scale of 1-5. Very impressive!
While the authors rightly state the limitations, it seems that it does not take a very big (or expensive) effort to sensitize and motivate undergraduate students towards research. As the authors mention, the MCI has mentioned that UG students must get sensitized in research methodologies.
I have very often heard faculty / seniors mentioning that they would rather have UG students only study textbooks and get their foundations firm. Of course they need a very firm foundation of medical knowledge. But, it is increasingly obvious that they need to be sensitized and get a basic hands on experience of what it takes to do research. Thankfully the ICMR STS projects have done something in this direction (increasingly) over years. But this training in an institution seems well worth replicating!
Note: I was particularly pleased to note that the students gave a feedback of 4/5 in the understanding their literature search process. Dr AM Khan, one of the authors has been a participant of one of my workshops on literature searching and referencing, and I am sure he did a great job in ensuring that the students were taught the basic skills in searching