In the last couple of years there is a spurt in the number of students and faculty wanting to do systematic reviews. We do notice that many initially think this would be easy as this is secondary research about papers, and not primary research done on patients.
But one area where they get stuck (and sadly often get away with a not so good job) – is the searching for studies. However there are those who believe in learning and we are happy to share the story of one Dr Girish – a Professor from a medical college. He shares about his interactions with QMed:
I recently completed a Masters in Epidemiology program from a reputed international university. I chose to do a systematic review as my final project to graduate. Doing a literature review was an essential component of this project.
The University mandated that I do the literature search on my own. I could take a librarian's guidance, but could not get the search done by one*
Though I had received some training in doing literature searches, I soon realised that I was not up to the mark and could not do a detailed search by myself. A friend referred me to Vasumathi from QMed and I reached out to her. I spoke to her and explained my situation. She quickly understood what I wanted and began guiding me every so thoughtfully. She advised me to enrol for the online course – Mastering PubMed – which QMed offered. I did the course and after that I spoke to her, cleared my doubts and went about running my search.
Over the next few weeks, I met with her online repeatedly and frequently texted her my doubts. After completing my search in PubMed, I moved on to searching other databases. Her guidance instils a sense of confidence and allows you to acquire the skills to be an independent researcher. It was highly satisfying to see my work as I went from database to database. Confusing terminology and the nuances of searching, now appear to be so simple. The skill of doing a literature review seems daunting initially. But the basic fundamentals that the QMedCourses give, really makes it easy and enjoyable.
We at QMed were delighted when Dr Girish told us that he successfully completed the program and the project. He was very sincere in his learning from our courses and grasped concepts quickly. He is now pushing others to learn from us. And he agrees that our courses need to reach medical students. We hope that he and many other faculty will learn advanced search skills and will encourage students to learn too. It is the need of the hour – especially if everyone wishes to author a systematic review!
*Systematic review authors most often involve a librarian trained for systematic review searches, to do the search. It is a regular practice