QMed recently started training and helping health professionals who have volunteered their time for research projects for the Lancet Citizens’ Commission. This research project is being coordinated from CMC Vellore. They have subscribed to QMedCourses. The group is divided into small teams working on various research projects concerning healthcare in India – specially on achieving universal healthcare coverage for people in India in the coming years.
The whole group has been signed up for QMedCourses and we are also working with each team, helping them with their search strategies – for them to search various databases, find all available literature and produce their scoping reviews. It has been wonderful mentoring each team.
Each team has done the requisite lessons in our course, for the advanced searching methods and then shares the search strategy that they create, with us. We comment on the steps and make suggestions. They then make changes and we check it out once more. The groups are very keen on learning and do their best. It is great to see people evolving and learning “structured advanced search techniques”.
We only wish that they had engaged with us still earlier because some of the teams had done search strategies earlier and had to make several revisions. They could have saved a fair amount of time if they had been involved with us from the start. But – better late than never!
For some groups, we also managed to get a little extra help and advice from International and local librarians and other experts. They helped us source some additional literature.
Overall – we feel wonderful for being able to make a signficant contribution to this project. The skills we have to share are reaching where they are much needed! There are instances where we have pointed out work done that could have led to inadequate results – something that such projects cannot afford to have.
It strengthens our belief that literature searching skills need to be taught right from the Undergaduate medical and health sciences education level. Only then when they are involved in research projects as professionals – they can learn necessary advanced skills more easily and hugely strengthen research outputs. It also is a fact that these skills make a big difference to practitioners – in their abilities to find the best available evidence at any time.
We are working our courses getting into the UG curriculum. We seek everyone’s help and inputs in making this happen. For the health of India.