José Ordóñez-Mena: “what would we do without systematic reviews and meta-analyses?”

January 1, 2017

José Ordóñez-Mena is a Module Co-ordinator and tutor for Introduction to Study Design and Research Methods, and also teaches on the Essential Medical Statistics and Meta-analysis modules. He works as a Medical Statistician at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

What was your earliest ambition?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect. Then, when I was older, I realised that I was not that good at drawing, so I gave up. However, I still enjoy contemplating remarkable buildings and learning about the different architectural styles and the history behind the construction of these buildings.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I cannot think of just one person. I am surrounded every day by admirable people who inspire me to learn more, know more, and to become a better researcher and person.

Why did you get into EBM?

Because of the possibility of teaching medical statistics to very motivated students.

What do you feel has made the most difference in EBM?

Probably the use of systematic reviews and meta-analysis methods. What would we do nowadays without them? I cannot imagine!

Describe your approach to research in three words.

Sceptical, curious, critical.

What do you like most about teaching?

I like many things about teaching, but maybe the two main things are being able to help others and learning new things.

Do you have any regrets about becoming a PhD?


What has been your most innovative piece of teaching?

I cannot think of anything now. I think I am still inexperienced and I need to try to be more innovative in the future.

When are you having the most fun at work?

When I realise that I am learning something new, and when I finally figure out a solution to a problem.

If you weren’t a teacher what would you be doing instead?

I like sports and have always enjoyed teaching, so I guess I would have been a swimming coach or dance instructor.

What do you find hardest when teaching?

Preparing for it. I really want to understand everything really well before I teach it.

If you were given £1 million for research, what would you do?

Give scholarships to students coming from developing countries or families with low-income, to stay on at least, two different universities or research centres in the world and do research that had an immediate impact on their countries and/or communities.

What one resource should every EBM enthusiast read?

The BMJ. It is just a great journal. I especially enjoy reading their ‘Research Methods & Reporting‘ articles. For learning purposes, I can also recommend the ‘Epidemiology for the Uninitiated‘ and ‘Statistics at Square One‘.

For more interviews in this series, please click here.

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