Journal of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 99--100

Are medical residents research work being at stake?


Sinthu Sarathamani, Lalithambigai Chellamuthu, Abhijit V Boratne 
 Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhijit V Boratne
Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Pillaiyarkuppam - 607 402, Pondicherry
India




How to cite this article:
Sarathamani S, Chellamuthu L, Boratne AV. Are medical residents research work being at stake?.J NTR Univ Health Sci 2022;11:99-100


How to cite this URL:
Sarathamani S, Chellamuthu L, Boratne AV. Are medical residents research work being at stake?. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 3 ];11:99-100
Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2022/11/1/99/345805


Full Text



Dear Editor,

On December 31, 2019 the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia and on March 11, 2020 the WHO announces COVID-19 to be a pandemic.[1] It has been almost more than 1 year after the pandemic has been declared and still the world is fighting with the pandemic. India is the second most country to be affected by pandemic after the US.[2] With the ongoing pandemic, the postgraduate residents all over the country have proved themselves as backbone of health-care system and fighting this war-like situation to treat COVID-19 patients. In most of the places, the residents are working almost 12–14 h COVID duty, and all residents from the clinical, surgical, para-clinical, and nonclinical departments are roped in for COVID duties.[3],[4] This has caused a levy on their academics and research. For residents completing their dissertation is quite challenging. The first challenge was many medical colleges was solely dedicated to COVID patients and this abruptly stopped the inflow of the regular outpatients and in-patients who would be the sample population in most of the clinical research, whereas for field-based research, with lockdown, containment zones and transport restrictions it became impractical for the other set of residents to approach the patients in the community. All the resources and manpower are pooled into COVID care and there is scarcity of resources. Due to all these issues, the residents are having little or no time to concentrate on their dissertation. Its high time that the government should recruit and full up the existing vacancies and create more new vaccines such that the burden on the residents will be reduced. The National Medical Commission (NMC) came with the announcement of extending the time for submission of research to 3 months and if needed also the final analysis of the data collected even if it is less than the committed sample size.[5] But there is a high risk that these kinds of measures can take a toll on the quality of research. Rather than a blanket approach, the NMC should provide suggestions to the residents such that it is tailor-made based on their thesis, the residents can be permitted to make minor changes in their existing protocol without compromising the objectives. For instance, face-to-face interviews can be changed to telephonic interviews, and for clinical research sample population can be extended outside the institution with the collaboration of outside hospitals and institutes. These kinds of changes can be reviewed by the institute research board in a fast-track manner. This can help the residents to complete their research without compromising the quality of their research and also it. NMC can also see the possibilities for submission of monographs and or review articles instead of dissertation as an eligible criterion to appear into university exams. Though it is anticipated that the pandemic can have a long-term, unprecedented effect on the research,[6] the government and universities should try to provide a supportive environment for the research balancing the burden of pandemic and the academics of the residents of our country.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Timeline: WHOWHO stake? andhi Medi. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/interactive-timeline. [Last accessed on 2021 May 14].
2Yadav N. These are the 10 most-affected countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Business Insider. Available from: https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/india/news/check-out-the-10-most-affected-countries-with-the-highest-number-of-coronavirus-cases/slidelist/76275918.cms. [Last accessed on 2021 May 14].
3Bedi A. Doctors work 14-hr shift, handle double workload as Delhi hospitals battle staff crunch. The Print 2020. Available from: https://theprint.in/health/doctors-work-14-hr-shift-handle-double-workload-as-delhi-hospitals-battle-staff-crunch/547272/. [Last accessed on 2021 May 14].
4Barnagarwala T. In second year of pandemic, resident doctors on Covid duty rue academic loss. The Indian Express 2021. Available from: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/in-second-year-of-pandemic-resident-docs-on-covid-duty-rue-academic-loss-7261832/. [Last accessed on 2021 May 14].
5National Medical Commission. Relaxation for post graduate degree thesis. NMC; 2020. Available from: https://www.nmc.org.in/MCIRest/open/getDocument?path=/Documents/Public/Portal/LatestNews/j.pdf.
6Lancet T. Research and higher education in the time of COVID-19. Lancet 2020;396:583.