Donor Connect: Our fortnightly updates to donors

Dear Donors - In case you have missed any of our mailers, you could check this page and catch up. And if you are someone who has stumbled upon this page for the first time, we invite you to join us in our journey. Give us a donation to sustain our work. Contribute your time/ expertise. Connect us with people who matter - in the National Medical Commission / ICMR or any of the Councils. Help us reach medical / nursing / dental / pharmacy and other colleges. In short - Become a part of the history we are creating! We welcome you!

Jan 9, 2023: Program Story – Grant Medical College, Mumbai invited us to talk to the students of the I MBBS program during their Foundation Course

Date: Monday January 9, 2023


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In November 2022, AIIMS Kalyani had invited us to speak with the I MBBS students who were going through the Foundation Course. This was an online lecture. Every medical college has been conducting this course since 2019. The objective is to sensitize fresh medical students about the required knowledge and skills for their professional environment. It stresses on the medical graduate preparing to be a lifelong learner and developing strong leadership and communication skills. 

In December, the Grant Medical College & JJ Hospital, Mumbai invited me to offer the lecture for its Foundation Course. This was a live session, held in their prestigious Anatomy Hall, a charming old construction. While in the recent years, this hall became famous via the movie “Munnabhai MBBS”, it is a matter of pride that many eminent doctors from all over India and the world have addressed medical gatherings here. I personally cherish the opportunity of having spoken in this hall more than once.

As I had done for the AIIMS Kalyani talk, I stressed on the need for reading beyond textbooks. I explained about journals and other resources. I then introduced them to the “structured fundamentals” of online searching. I gave them a bird’s eye view on how tagging search terms and using Boolean operators could make a difference. The good thing about a live session is that I could make students answer questions and ensure that they understood these fundamentals. I shared with them about how they could learn much more by enrolling in our courses.

More importantly, I believe I have sown the seeds of interest in research. I told them that while they had an option of pursuing research as a career choice, it was vital that they understood research, in order to do good practice. That I believe is a great contribution. I have in the last many years, interacted with students, who mentioned that they wished they had had been told more about research in their early years. I made them aware of it in their first month. I hope the seeds I have sown, result in all of them understanding research well!

Dec 12, 2022: Foundation story – QMed celebrates its 15th birthday – December 2022

Date: Thursday December 22, 2022


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A family celebrates the birth of a child and it often appears that in no time the child grows up. That is the feeling we got this month when we completed 15 years of QMed’s registration.

We had a simple celebration in office, with a reaffirmation and commitment towards our mission.

What have we achieved in the last 15 years? Delivered around 520 lectures, conducted 245 workshops, launched our ELearning platform in which we registered more than 5000 participants and overall reached out to more than 35000 health sciences students & professionals.

We have had excellent feedback from majority who completed our courses – stressing that these courses must be in the curriculum.

While we have done lots, our eyes are constantly on the denominator, which is massive. We still have to reach out to this denominator – consisting of every health science student and professional – with our skills and knowledge.

We wonder – with all our efforts and with the excellent feedback, why our offerings are not being utilized quickly. We did some intense brainstorming on various aspects and it seems to boil down to one point.

“They don’t know what they don’t know”. Right from decision makers in the health sciences education, to policy makers, they are unaware that there IS a structured method of searching the online literature and a right methodology to reference correctly. Not knowing this, they do not prioritize the need to teach these skills.

We continuously think of what more we can do to solve this problem.

We explored collaborations to reach out to all educational institutions, and started a “top down approach” by meeting Vice Chancellors, Secretaries of the Govt and more. We have told them about our desire to make a positive change. We shared that we offer our knowledge and skills so that students and professionals save lots of time, carry out better research and ensure a return on the investment their institutions make, in online information resources.

Internally we are constantly working at strengthening our offerings:

  • Create more courses
  • Update the existing ones as the platforms evolve (PubMed & Mendeley)
  • Explore how we can use technologies to enhance the courses

As I write this update, we have just completed one significantly MAJOR change in our courses. We have added lots more test questions for the final assessment of each course. Now participants can attempt the assessment as many times as they wish to. Every time, they will attempt a mix of new and old questions as they generate randomly. With different questions each time, they can improve their skills with more testing. With these unlimited attempts, they can download a “best score” certificate!

We have “miles to go before we sleep” – to ensure that this learning becomes part of the health sciences curricula. We invite you to share ideas, inputs, donate / help us raise funds until our work sustains itself!

Dec 9, 2022: Founder story – Meeting Dr Eugene Garfield

Date: Friday December 9, 2022


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It is natural for a student to dream of meeting his/her hero. In fact it is natural for this feeling to last much longer. It is a part of us that we don’t grow out of. So when I had the opportunity to meet Dr Eugene Garfield in person in the year 2013, on a day when I won an International Award and the day happened to be my birthday, it was like a triple bonus! How can one forget such days??

Dr Eugene Garfield (1925 – 2017), was an Information Scientist of worldwide fame. He had worked as a Librarian, and went on to produce top-notch information products like Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and several others. This was all under the organization “Institute for Scientific Information” which was later taken over by Thomson Reuters (and further to Clarivate Analytics).  For students of Library & Information Sciences courses, “Eugene Garfield” was a huge role model.

As a student of Information Sciences in 1989-90 and then as a freshly qualified librarian, I used to read his works with awe – wondering how one could be so brilliant! The “Essays of an Information Scientist” and his other columns in “Current Contents” – were publications I read with reverence. 

It was in May 2013 that I attended the Annual Conference of the Medical Library Association, USA. Earlier that year, I got the news that I had won an award instituted by the ICLC, UK. I was told that I would receive it at the MLA Annual event.

The Awards ceremony itself was awesome – organized perfectly going down to every minute detail. I learnt that Dr Eugene Garfield was present at the ceremony. I got a glimpse of him and wished that I could meet him, but that turned out to be difficult. I told myself that I had better be happy having at least seen him in person.

The same evening there was a special event for all award winners, at a venue away from the conference center. When I reached there, I was delighted to find that Dr Garfield and his wife were also present! The event being one with no fixed agenda, it was open for everyone to network and meet. I had ample time to chat with both of them and to tell them about QMed too. Dr Garfield’s wife was an Indian by birth and so we had several common topics to discuss. It was one of the best days in my life!

Later that year QMed started to raise funds via GlobalGiving – a US based crowd-funding platform. I wrote to Dr Garfield and made a request for a donation and we got a contribution of $500 from him (through the Thomson Reuters Foundation)! The wildest dreams of a student came true 🙂

Just four years later, in the end of February, we learnt that Dr Garfield passed away at the age of 91. We at QMed feel that good wishes and blessings of people like Dr Garfield keep us going and I hope he continues to shower his best wishes on QMed and all its beneficiaries, from the other world. After all, Eugene Garfield and I love the same domain – “Information Sciences”!

Nov 23, 2022: Program story – AIIMS Kalyani introduces our talk on Literature Searching in its Foundation Course for I MBBS

Date: Wednesday November 23, 2022


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The Foundation Course for I MBBS students – conducted by every medical college since the year 2019 – has an objective of sensitizing fresh medical students with the required knowledge and skills for their professional environment. It stresses on the medical graduate preparing to be a lifelong learner and developing strong leadership and communication skills.  

In November, we received a call from AIIMS Kalyani – a medical college in the Eastern part of India, asking if we could deliver a lecture for their newly admitted I MBBS Students. We were delighted to take up this and I gave a one-hour presentation titled:

 “Enjoy Learning with Extra Reading: An orientation to finding the best information resources using IT”

I stressed on the need for reading beyond textbooks. I explained about journals and other resources.  I introduced them to some of the Indian textbooks and told them about the editors of these books. I stressed how each one of them read a lot, learnt about, and did lots of research. As a result of their efforts, they were on editorial teams that created textbooks which were important to all medical students in India.

I then introduced them to the fundamentals of searching online. I gave them a bird’s eye view on how tagging search terms and using Boolean operators could make a difference

AIIMS Kalyani has subscribed to QMedCourses and so I explained how students could learn in more detail from . The new curriculum introduced in the MBBS stresses on the need for self-learning, in addition to syllabus-based learning.

To encourage students, I asked them for a commitment to

1)      Finish the first two courses in their first year (this would take just about 2-3 hours)

2)      Finish the other two over the next couple of years (an involvement of about 5-6 hours)

The students have promised to go ahead. I explained how these courses could help them a lot during the MBBS as well as PG courses and then during their entire career span.

The feedback received was excellent – majority agreed that the session was effective and that they were very interested.

QMed thanks AIIMS Kalyani for organizing this session. We now plan to make a fresh recording of this talk and encourage every medical college to share it with their MBBS students