Innovative Practice of Involving Medical Student in Community Based Research Projects and Scientific Writing JC01-JC04
Dr. Timsi Jain,
Department of Community Medicine, Saveetha Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: The present MBBS curriculum does not provide an adequate platform for promoting research aptitude among under-graduates in India. To overcome this limitation an innovative approach was introduced, to involve each student in the 6th semester in planning and conducting a research project.
Aim: To teach medical students how to identify research questions, plan and conduct a research study.
Materials and Methods: In the month of January 2017, a two days Research Methodology workshop was organised for the 6th semester MBBS students (n=141) by the Department of Community Medicine. During the workshop, sessions were taken on need for research, framing a research question, steps in conducting research studies, sample size calculation, sampling methods, data collection methods and tools, data analysis, data presentation, interpretation and writing a report. Plenary sessions were followed by group formation. The students were divided into groups of three each. Each group was guided by a faculty from Community Medicine Department. By the end of workshop all the groups finalised their research topics, framed objectives and decided on basic methodology like type of study design and estimated sample size. Each research project underwent Institutional ethical clearance. All the projects were completed by 30th May 2017 and on June 15th 2017 the Department organised and conducted a Poster competition for all the 47 projects. Individual student in the research group was assessed by his/her group facilitator and was awarded marks out of 5.
Results: A total of 47 research projects were completed. The mean score of internal assessment marks of students for research projects was 4.02 out of 5. Students presented 51 posters and three papers in various Local, State, National and International conferences. They won five outstanding awards and eight project reports were converted into publications.
Conclusion: This innovation has successfully involved 6th semester MBBS students in planning and conducting community based research projects. Students could understand the various steps involved in conducting scientific research and writing and presenting a research report. This study empirically demonstrated that with some extra effort from teachers, undergraduate medical students can be exposed to a handson learning experience in population-based research, without using additional resources.