Medical students authoring systematic reviews – our mentoring experience

Medical students authoring systematic reviews – our mentoring experience

In May 2021 a young doctor – Vinayak Mishra – approached QMed. He had completed his medical degree and experienced that it was difficult to get mentors if he wanted to author a systematic review. He asked us if he could work on a collaborative project with us where QMed would take care of its major area of helping with the search strategies and he would coordinate with senior mentors and help students to author reviews.

We started off in earnest. We currently have two groups of authors – medical students – working on two separate reviews.  Vinayak created groups, invited them to apply, spoke with them, screened their applications and chose them. He coordinated with doctors who promised to be mentors. Two groups working on separate topics, buzzed with activity. One group is currently at the data extraction stage and another in the screening stage.

And yet – we learned some lessons:

1. We need to have still better processes to ensure that students learn the entire searching process through our courses and then only carry out the search for their review topic. In the current groups we discovered that some went through the courses fully, some partially, and none checked with us about their strategies

2. We need to factor their examination months and plan projects accordingly. It turned out that from November students get busy with exam preparations and will not be available till the end of February

We learnt that even with a very enthusiastic and sincere coordinator like Vinayak, we needed to be more alert both in our planning and in our operations, in new projects. We know it of course, but this experience just reinforced it!

We are working towards better systems for 2022. We want to make a big difference to medical students! To learn more about our work with UG students of any health sciences stream please check our website page – The UG Hub

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