The impact of an MSc Evidence-Based Health Care
Looking back, less than one year after completing MSc EBHC
How has the MSc impact your professional life?
A retrospective view from Dr Felipe Martinez, Valparaiso, Chile.
A lot of things have changed for me since I finished the programme. I was awarded an academic position as a lecturer in the Department of Public Health at the University of Valparaiso, where I am responsible for teaching EBM and Research Methods for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and I enjoy doing that a lot. I have been inspired by the small group work and the interactive teaching methods that I enjoyed so much at Oxford, and students seem to be having some fun with my efforts as well. I have received two teaching awards for my lectures, which have been really encouraging to keep going on this path. I have also been hired a couple of times as a freelance reviewer to assist and direct systematic overviews in occupational medicine, which are currently underway.
As a clinician, life has also changed a lot. I was recently promoted to the intensive care unit at my hospital, and some of my responsibilities include making sure that our care is based on solid research. The Oxford style of teaching and the contents of the Knowledge into Action module have been really helpful to facilitate the implementation of new interventions. My boss is quite enthusiastic in that we can make several changes and improvements in our way of managing critically-ill patients. One of the projects we’re currently working on is to develop a tailored multicomponent intervention for preventing incident delirium in the ICU. I’ve discussed this with my colleagues and nurses at our centre, and we expect to be starting a programme quite soon. I’ll be taking some ideas from my dissertation’s findings, but I also think that experiences such as the Hospital Elder Life Program will become key influences as well.
How have you shared your learning from the MSc with other colleagues?
I have realised how much I learned in every assignment I completed and I am still finding ways to share and publish this work.
I have also reworked my dissertation on delirium “Preventing Delirium: Should Multicomponent Interventions be Used?” and have just submitted our manuscript to the journal Age & Ageing. This is one of the top journals in Geriatrics, and we hope that the editor will consider our work interesting enough to be published there!
I’m also working towards publishing some of my assignments. I translated my assignment on nonpharmacologic interventions for preventing incident delirium that was submitted for the module “The Practice of Evidence – Based Healthcare” into Spanish and it was published in a local journal called Medwave a few months ago:
http://www.medwave.cl/link.cgi/Medwave/Revisiones/CAT/5822 (Had to be a Spanish version. Sorry!)
Medwave’s editor-in-chief also invited me to participate as an assistant editor for primary research studies, and to publish a series of short review articles. These articles, which have to be written in Spanish and in less than a thousand words, are chiefly aimed at simplifying some key concepts in Epidemiology, Statistics and EBM. We have already published five of them, and a sixth one is currently underway.
I have also received an invitation to publish the critical analysis on point-of-care creatinine autoanalysers that I submitted for my assignment for the Diagnosis & Screening module in Critical Reviews and Laboratory Sciences. It is currently being peer-reviewed, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one, too!
What is your next challenge?
One of the reasons I took the MSc at Oxford was because I wanted to make EBM friendlier for clinicians in my country. I often have the impression that here in Chile, EBM is often viewed as a tyrannical method of decision-making, in which clinical reasoning is of little value and healthcare is driven by complex studies with inscrutable statistical procedures. I would like to change the idea that EBM is a separate entity from clinical practice, which would encourage clinicians to practise it. Another short-term goal is to continue conducting research and to learn more about systematic reviews and meta-analyses. I believe that pursuing a D.Phil in Evidence-Based Healthcare would be my next challenge, since it would greatly help me to further understand EBM, share its strengths and work on its shortcomings.