Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha urges ORIC and DME to plan regular CME activities, Hands on Workshops for faculty of NMU


 Workshops on Medical Writing, Medical Editing, Peer Review at NMU

Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha urges ORIC and
DME to plan regular CME activities, Hands
on Workshops for faculty of NMU

Universities are supposed to generate
knowledge and promote research culture

MULTAN: Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha Vice Chancellor of Nishtar Medical University has advised the ORIC (Office for Research Innovation and Commercialization) and Dept. of Medical Education at Nishtar Medical University to plan regular CME activities and Hands on Workshops for professional capacity building of the faculty members. Universities, he further stated are supposed to generate new knowledge and promote research culture. He was speaking at the two days Hands on interactive workshops on Medical Writing, Medical Editing and Peer Review organized by ORIC and Dept. of Medical Education in collaboration with Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) and Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) at Nishtar Medical University held on 1st and 2nd April 2019. Faculty members showed their keen interest which is evident from the fact that the organizers had to accommodate forty seven participants and stop further registration for the workshops which were originally planned for 25-30 participants.

Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences who was a
facilitator at Workshops on Medical Writing, Medical Editing and Peer Review held at Nishtar
Medical University Multan and Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha VC NMU speaking in the inaugural session of the Workshop on April 1, 2019. This academic activity was
sponsored by M/s PharmEvo.

Dr. Ghulam Abbas associate professor of Nephrology and Prof. Nasrin Qaiser Director ORIC besides Dr. Sohail Safdar Senior Research Officer at PMRC were the moving spirits behind this academic activity. Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences who is also Secretary of EMAME was the main facilitator for these workshops which were sponsored by PharmEvo Pharmaceuticals. Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha VC NMU himself attended these workshops on both the days and proudly announced that he was attending these workshops as a student and not Vice Chancellor. His presence throughout the two days workshops was also welcomed by the organizers and the faculty members. He formally inaugurated the workshops on April 1st and was also the chief guest at the concluding session on April 2nd where he presented certificates to the participants. He urged the faculty members to improve their professional capacity, academic career by making full use of these facilities being made available by the university. He also disclosed that the provincial health department was interested to link the NMU with some other tertiary healthcare facilities for academic collaboration promoting research culture. He asked the faculty members to identify the institutions with which they would like to be linked. NMU Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha further stated would also like to be liked with the Tehsil Hqr. Hospitals and DHQs in the region through telemedicine and video link to help the healthcare professional working in those institutions to improve patient care.

Earlier on Day-One of the workshop Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid discussed in detail how to overcome their self imposed inhibitions to medical writing and conducting of research. It was pointed out that they must identify a problem and then try to find a solution through research. An interesting problem will result in an interesting solution and result in addition to the medical literature. He also discussed in detail the basic principles of medical writing, authorship criteria by the ICMJE, the importance of designing tables and illustrations, how to write references, qualities of an ideal manuscript, importance of retrospective studies which help in clinical audit and improvement of patient care. He also shared with the participants the details of the whole publication process from the submission of a manuscript which goes through different phase’s i.e. initial internal triage and review, plagiarism check, formatting and external review. He advised the participations never to ask a question as to when their paper will be published as it all depends on the quality of the manuscript. They should plan for at least six to eight month. He further emphasized the importance of carefully reading and following the instructions for authors of the journal to which they wish to submit their manuscript. Authorship guidelines are not mandatory and many journals have now also started adding contributor ship of individual listed authors.

Picture on right shows Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha VC NMU presenting mementoes to Prof.
Nasrin Qaiser Director ORIC, Director DME and Dr. Ghulam Abbass in the concluding
session of Workshops on Medical Writing, Medical Editing and Peer Review held at Nishtar
Medical University on April 1st and 2nd 2019. On extreme left Mr. Shaukat
Ali Jawaid the
facilitator at the workshop is presenting a memento to Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha
VC NMU. Prof. Nasrin Qaiser is also seen in the center.

A hand on exercise was also part of the first day programmed wherein first they were asked to write abbreviation of various journals which are used in writing references. The idea was to sensitize them about the importance of knowing the correct journal abbreviations. How to write a scientific paper was then discussed in detail and they were told what information has to be included in different sections, i.e. structured abstract which is usually in four sub-headings i.e. Objective, Methods, Results and Conclusions followed by appropriate key words. What information has to be included in Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion were discussed in detail. Title and structured abstract, it was pointed out are both very important. Short and interesting title will ensure greater citations and invite the readers to read it. Discussion is the most important part of the manuscript wherein one compares the results of his/her study with other local, national, regional and international studies. Similarity in results and different results are both important. In case the results are different from other studies, one should try to find out the reasons for these differences. May be there are some differences in inclusion and exclusion criteria, cultural and dietary differences. It was emphasized that statistician should be taken on board and involved from the very beginning when the study is being planned and before data collection. Statistician will help them in selection of sample size as well as in data interpretation though now various software’s are also available for data analysis. Approval of the study protocol from the institutional Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board was essential as no standard journal will accept papers for publication unless it is accompanied with ethics committee approval. They were also told to find answer to five questions which will make writing the manuscript simple and easy. These include why did you do the study which will give them the objective, how did you do it will provide the information needed for Methods section. What did you find will give the Results and what is its importance, significance will be covered in discussion section. Most of the references should come in the discussion section and efforts should be made to ensure that at least one third or 50% of the references pertain to the last five years. It is only possible if they do proper literature search before starting the study. Do not forget to mention time and duration of the study and limitations of the study should also be added at the end of the discussion before conclusion. Some journals require that DOI which stands for Digital Object Identifier should be added at the end of the references. Follow the ICMJE authorship criteria, add individual author’s contribution and do mention who is responsible for the overall integrity of the research work. Incomplete submissions are not entertained by the journals. Hence while uploading the manuscript on the journal website, do not forget to upload the Letter of Undertaking signed by all the listed authors, Ethics Committee/IRB approval. Be mindful of plagiarism which is a serious scientific misconduct which can have serious repercussions for the authors and spoil their academic career. Never allow gift authorship nor add your name on any manuscript in which you have not been actively involved. The second Hands on Exercise consisted of answers to twenty questions to test their knowledge. Later answer keys of both the exercises were also shared with the participants. A small Booklet on Medical Writing which contained some basic definitions and some other useful information compiled and edited by Shaukat Ali Jawaid and Masood Jawaid published by PharmEvo was also distributed among the participants.

Medical Editing/Peer Review

On Day-Two of the workshop some useful information on medical editing was shared with the participants. Different types of peer review, their advantages and disadvantages i.e. single blind, double blind, triple blind and Open Peer Review system were also discussed in detail. How to peer review of a manuscript and how to overcome their inhibitions to become a Reviewer were also highlighted. One has to be a good author to become a good reviewer. Many journals have their own ways of rewarding their reviewers. Open Peer Review system, it was further stated is considered as the best which has been proved in numerous studies. Young faculty members affiliated with teaching, tertiary care facilities, those who have attended workshops on epidemiology are supposed to be the best reviewers.

A group photograph of participants of Workshops on Medical Writing, Medical Editing and
Peer Review held at NMU with Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha VC NMU and Mr.Shaukat Ali
Jawaid Facilitator of the workshops. The workshops were sponsored by M/s PharmEvo.

Then all the participants were divided into different groups and they were given different manuscripts to review. After an hour’s deliberations, their group representatives were asked to make the presentations highlight the strength and weaknesses of the studies. Those who made the presentations on behalf of their groups included Dr. Syeda Ali, Dr. Saima Kadri, Dr. Shahida Perveen, Dr. Saima Mustafa, Dr. Poonam Khalid, Dr. Nadia Taj, Dr. Mehrin Bader, Dr. Mohammad Ayub, Dr. Aymn Masood and Dr. Zaheen Nazish. Most of them did a good job and were able to identify serious deficiencies in methodology and preparation of the manuscript. It helped them to gain confidence. Later the internal review reports on all these manuscripts some of which were rejected and some were accepted for publication after revision were shared with the participants. The participants asked numerous questions to clarify different points which made the proceedings quite lively and interesting.

Feedback from the participants

The participants were also asked to give feedback on these workshops on a Performa with 1-5 scale. Writing of their name was optional. The feedback was very encouraging. Most of the participants appreciated the idea of such workshops and wished that it should be a regular on-going activity so that many other faculty members who could not attend this time are provided an opportunity to benefit and improve their writing skills. Some felt that time was too short and too much information was provided. Hands on activity on the first day was not much hence this deficiency was covered on the second day. Most of the participants termed this an excellent academic activity and congratulated the organizers for putting up a good team effort. They also highly appreciated the wholehearted involvement of Vice Chancellor Prof. Mustafa Kamal Pasha who was personally present on both days and actively participated in the deliberations. Deans of Medicine and Surgery also made significant contributions. A large number of departments were represented in the workshop. There was a suggestion to organize workshop on Dissertation Writing, covering other different topics in medical writing, statistics which were duly noted by the organizers. The participants not only shared their feedback in writing but also in the WhatsApp group created by Dr. Ghulam Abbas which had excellent feedback from the participants who thanked the organizers and the workshop facilitator. The idea of group discussion and presentations by the group leaders was also appreciated. At the end of the workshop Dr. Ghulam Abbas announced that they have planned a workshop on Biostatistics on April 8th and 9th 2019 at DME in NMU where Prof. Waqar Kazmi will be the facilitator. Prof. Nasrin Qaiser Head of the Dept. of Community Medicine thanked the VC, facilitator as well as the participants for their participation. The organizers also thanked PharmEvo and their local team for facilitating and making all the arrangements for this workshop and hoped that their collaboration will continue in future as well.