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Research in Medical School

Updated: Mar 11, 2022



Hi, I am Aishwarya, an IMG from India. I am currently doing my Master's in Cardiovascular Research at King's College London. In today's blog article, I am going to share with you some important information about research in medical school.


Research is an important aspect of medical school due to various reasons. Research helps the medical field in diagnosing various conditions for a better prognosis. It is also beneficial for the management plans clinically. At the same time, publishing papers is an excellent method to boost your portfolio for speciality training requirements. There are different kinds of research that can be undertaken during medical school.


1. Review papers

2. Original Research articles

3. Case presentations

4. Epidemiological studies

5. Surveys / Questionnaires


REVIEW PAPERS


This is the easiest type of research. It does have value but not as much as original research. Review papers hardly take much time, can vary from a few weeks to a month depending on the topic. A review is basically a compilation of various research done and what you would like to accomplish in that particular topic.

How to proceed with review papers?

  • Start off by choosing a topic of your choice and what exactly you would like to portray in your paper.

  • Go through various other similar papers, news updates on that topic and any kind of related information to your topic. Analyze each paper you read and plan how you want your paper to be put forward.

Format of a review paper:

  • Introduction

  • Methods

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Conclusion

A review can be done if you are running short of time and are in urgent need of a research paper in your name and do not have the time for an original article.


ORIGINAL ARTICLES


It is the most sought-after type of research. Original research is very time-consuming but worth it towards the end. Typically takes months to years to complete up until the publication.


How to proceed with an original research article?

  • Choose a subject/department

  • Approach a consultant for being your guide. Guides play a major role in helping out with the whole process, starting from helping you choose the topic up to the publication level.

  • Have a clear idea of what exactly you wish to work on.

  • Research a lot of already published papers on the topic to get an idea of how you want to proceed because you would not want to repeat the same study done by someone else.

  • Consult with your guide about the feasibility and funding

  • Obtain ethical approval

  • Start your project

Format of an original research paper:

  • Aim

  • Introduction

  • Methodology

  • Observation

  • Discussion

  • Result

  • Keywords


CASE PRESENTATION


A case presentation is basically any rare case that you see in the hospital.


How to proceed with a case presentation?

  • Approach the department you are interested in and talk to a senior consultant about any rare cases they might have encountered.

  • Once you obtain all the details of the case, ensure you remove any patient identification details during publishing.

Format of a case presentation:

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Case discussion


SURVEYS / QUESTIONNAIRES


Surveys and questionnaires are easy to compile. They tend to take less time than the original paper. The only major problem with this kind of research is the identification of the right type of audience and how they respond to it. An honest database is needed for accurate results.

The difference between surveys and questionnaires is that questionnaires use standardized questions which are already devised by an organization (example: The Perceived Stress Scale for measuring stress and anxiety in a population)


How to proceed with surveys?

  • Choose a topic

  • Identify the audience suited to your study

  • Create a survey using software such as SurveyMonkey or Google forms

  • Compile the results


EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES


These kinds of studies are involved in the investigation of the distribution and historical changes of diseases and causes. Observational epidemiological studies involve cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies, ecological studies.


If you have any questions about research opportunities in medical school, I would be happy to answer them at trewlink.com.

Good luck!

Dr Ash

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