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PAME-Health RAB organize workshops on Medical Writing and Peer Review at SMBBMU.

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Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) in collaboration with Health Research Advisory Board (Health RAB) organized a workshop on Medical Writing at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University/Chandka Medical College Larkana on August 25th while the workshop on Editing and Peer Review was organized on August 26th 2015. Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences and Secretary of Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) besides Dr. Jamshed Akhtar Editor Journal of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan who is also General Secretary of PAME were the facilitators.

Thirty faculty members had registered for the workshops on Medical Writing and Peer Review. To begin with the participants were asked to identify the problems they face in medical writing. The issues they highlighted were lack of training, lack of human resource, funding, too busy with clinical work, lack of guidance, problems with data analysis etc. Presentations on a broad overview of medical journals in the region was followed by basic principles of medical writing and How to Write a Scientific paper. The participants were encouraged to start documentation, data collection and seek the guidance of a statistician in finding out the adequate sample size as well as data analysis. Then they were asked to write the abbreviation names of various biomedical journal from Pakistan and overseas. In the second hands on activity they were asked to write references. They were informed of the revised guidelines for authorship by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Only those should be listed as authors who are eligible for authorship. The menace of Gift authorship should be discouraged. They were also informed that now many journals require that individual contribution of all the listed authors should also be provided. Study protocols should also be approved by the Ethics Committees or Institution Review Boards otherwise many good quality journals will never accept their manuscripts for publication.

Some of the participants pointed out that at times it was quite difficult because senior faculty members and Head of the Department though they have contributed nothing, insist that their name should be included in the authors. These are some of the issues which need to be resolved amicably.

On the second day the presentations featured on medical editing and how to overcome their inhibitions to be a reviewer besides how to do peer review. After the presentations the participants were divided into five groups and they were given two different manuscripts. They were asked to identify the shortcomings in these manuscripts. After an hour's activity, group leaders from all the five groups made presentations and they were able to identify most of the problems with these manuscripts. It proved to be a good learning exercise as it will also improve their writing skills and they won't make the same mistakes.

On both days the participants were asked to fill up the Feed Back Forms. A careful analysis of the feed back revealed that they wanted some Hand Outs. Some felt the time was too short, it should have been at least two to three days for each workshop. More hands on activity were preferred. Some opined that juniors should also have been included. Problems with air-conditioning on the first day which necessitated shifting of the workshop venue was also pointed out by most of the participants and it is hoped that the university administration will take care of these logistics. Most of the participants felt that the workshops did increase their knowledge. It was also suggested that study design should be taught to them on computers. SSP workshops and small group discussion should be preferred. They also felt that how to plan and conduct study was one of their weaknesses and these issues needs to be taken up at future workshops.

In the concluding session Dr. Khurshid Abbasi commenting on this academic activity remarked that such CME programmes should be continued. The second day's programme he felt, was much better because of increased hands on activity. We have learnt many things and will continue to practice it. Prof. Sher Mohammad said that it was as adult learning programme and we learnt how to Review a manuscript. Now they will be in a better position to review a paper besides it will also improve their writing skills as well. While writing a paper we will be careful and won't make the mistakes which have been highlighted during the discussions. We will continue to practice this in the Journal Club meetings where we can also learn from the juniors.

Prof. Asadullah Maher Principal of Chandka Medical College who was the Guest of Honour on this occasion in his speech said that when teachers are good, the students are also good and enjoying learning. This workshop will help the faculty members in improving their sills in medical writing, medical editing and peer review. He also commended the efforts made by Prof. Hamid Sheikh Director of Medical Education at SMBBMU. Postgraduates also need this guidance, he added.

Prof. Sikandar Mughal Registrar of SMBBMU who was the chief guest in his speech said that these workshops provided an opportunity to the participants to learn different steps in medical writing. We are shortly going to publish Journal of our university. We will require the skills of the faculty in editing and peer review. As such these workshops will be extremely useful. We should practice it and keep it up. Later Prof. Asad Maher and Prof. Sikandar Mughal distributed certificates among the participants. SMBBMU had also approved CME credit for both the workshops. Earlier Dr. Jamshed Akhtar and Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid also briefly addressed the participants and thanked the university administration for their aims and objectives. Health RAB, he said, was an entity established by PharmEvo to promote research culture in the country as well as art of medical writing and scientific publishing.

Prof. A.G. Billoo an eminent paediatrician is the current Chairman of Health RAB while Prof. Abdul Basit an eminent diabetologist Director of BIDE at Baqai Medical University is the Vice Chairman. He also thanked Health RAB and PharmEvo for sponsoring this academic activity.
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Title Annotation:Pakistan Association of Medical Editors; Research Advisory Board; and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University
Publication:Pulse International
Date:Sep 30, 2015
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