Paul Glaseziou et al. BMJ 2008;337:a1253 doi:10.1136/bmj.a1253
For Medical Students
Fifth year student (2016-2017)
Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt
• What is the importance of research for medical students?
• Barriers towards student research
• What is the difference between clinical research and lab research?
• What are the basic skills that a student should learn before starting?
• What are the recommended learning resources of research basics?
• How to start? (as an undergraduate student in Egypt)
• How to select a good research mentor? (Nature Guide)
• Other Q & A …?
In 2006, Mostafa et al. performed a cross sectional evaluation
in Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University to investigate
students’ perceptions and attitudes towards research.
Students’ interest in research Students’ perception of research
70-80% of students are
interested in research
80-90% of students think that
research is important
Curriculum overload - Lack of time (75.0%)
Lack of training (71.6%)
Lack of staff guidance and cooperation (39.1%)
Lack of Interest and Motivation (22.5%)
Lack of funding
Lack of incentives (19.1%)
Main problems identified in Egypt
Lack of time
Appropriate time management
starts by setting clear vision and
well defined goals.
* Follow your time
* Remodel your activities
Lack of Fund
1-There are a few available grants (you can
apply with your mentor as PI)
2- During publication, most journals offer
waivers to authors from MLICs.
3- Some universities may provide partial
fund. (eg. Mansoura university)
The gap btw our education and
recent advances in medicine
1- Subscribe to newsletter of famous
journals in your area of interest
2- Read as much as you can
3- CME online
Dissociation between research
education and research practice
Primary research vs. Secondary research
Primary Research Secondary Research
• Original Data
• Information appear for the first
• Summary/ collation and/or
synthesis of existing research
• Use existing data from Primary
Clinical Research Basic Science Research
Requires Patients + patient data
Deals with Patients
Test Tube Research
Requires Prepared Labs
Studies fundamental functions in biology
May involve: Animal Models, Tissue Culture
• Molecular Mechanisms
• Cell Cycle
Has Clinical Relevance Usually has more weight
Generate More Knowledge
Does not have direct clinical relevance
Basic Skills (before you start)
Creative thinking & Reading1. Research Idea
How to use databases2. Search Literature
3. Formulate hypothesis
4. Plan for the study
5. Pilot study
Data collection tools (+/- clinical skills)
7. Data collection
Medical statistics8. Data analysis
Scientific writing9. Reporting
Presentation & communication skills10. Presenting/Publishing
Epidemiology, Evidence Based
Medicine, and Public Health
Designing clinical research
1. Medical statistics made easy
2. Medical statistics at a glance
3. Oxford Handbook of Medical statistics
4. Biostatistics (Basic concepts and methodology for health sciences)
SPSS for starters
Biostatistics in Public Health using Stata
Publishing and presenting
Scientific writing; easy when
you know how
Systematic review and Meta-analysis
Introduction to Meta-analysis
of SR and MA
Advantages of our model
1. Rapid publications in a relatively shorter time
2. The start is more relevant to clinical practice
3. Students’ chance to work with faculty members increase over time
Where can you do lab research in Egypt?
• MERC (Mansoura experimental research center)
• NCI (National Cancer Institute)
• NRC (National Research Center
• Alexandria Medical Research Institute
• Zewail University
He always keeps in touch with ex-students,
postdocs and so on after they have moved
on. Even if he is not directly helping them,
he keeps himself aware of their activities
and at times informs them of things he
believes would be of interest or useful,
to them. He genuinely treats his
ex-students and postdocs as part of an
extended family .
A Mentor for Life! Mentor vs. Supervisor
A student with a career A student with a project
• When things go wrong, it is important to find out why things
happened the way they did.
• There could be personal factors (sickness, relationship break-
ups) that contribute to unhappy decisions or results.
• Although I may not be able to provide the solution to personal
problems, I can provide a sympathetic ear as well as advice or
direction to support services.
Appreciating individual differences
• Understand and accept individual differences
• Personality of students in work might influence the way they
do experiments or think about problems, or write their reports.
• Treating students as their colleagues
• Building confidence into younger collaborators
• Honestly sharing his own ideas and discussing with his team
• Has NO intellectual jealousy
• Happy to see others succeed
• Push them forward
Availability: the open door
Availability is the standout quality appreciated by the mentees. Despite
enormous workloads and responsibilities, the mentor was always there
and the door was always open.
Enthusiasm, Inspiration, and Optimism
• Very passionate to science
• Infectious enthusiasm
• Inspiring his students (to avoid burn out)
Balancing direction and self-direction
• How much guidance to give can be a challenge!
• There were many negative comments about those who have been seen to micromanage.
• Yet there was also criticism of those who let students run free and learn by their mistakes.
The initial project
• Select a guaranteed project at first
• Avoid losing interest
• The importance of celebration and rewarding successes, large
and small, is often neglected.
• Yet it can be highly encouraging to individuals and can
contribute to the building of communities.
• The guiding principle is that celebration, however large or
small, is a powerful motivator.
• A constant theme from the groups supporting their mentor was
the sense of community.
• The successful mentors realized the need to build communities
to create an environment where all under their care could
flourish. They all had deliberate and varied strategies to build
Skill development – Capacity building
• It is clear that successful mentors
work hard at developing the scientific
skills of their charges.