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Guest Post: Pre-Conference Workshops—A Chance to Teach and Learn (Part 1 of 2)

By Barbara Gastel | May 3, 2015  |

[This post is by Dr. Farooq Rathore, assistant professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, CMH Lahore Medical College and Institute of Dentistry, Lahore, Pakistan. Thanks very much! —Barbara]

Pre-conference workshops are important components of many conferences. They are much in demand and usually well attended, as they provide intensive training on particular topics. Recently I have conducted 3 pre-conference workshops on medical writing.

The first pre-conference workshop preceded the Association for Excellence in Medical Education (AEME) Conference 2015, held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in March 2015. There were about 32 participants, including faculty members, residents, and general practitioners. The participants were very enthusiastic and active. Topics included motivation to write, ethics in medical research and writing, components of original research articles, going beyond original research articles, smart and effective literature searching, referencing, and the submission process and peer review.

The second workshop preceded the same conference and was titled “Plagiarism and ethical aspects in medical research and writing: What you need to know”. In Pakistan, there is little teaching on these topics at medical schools or elsewhere.

This workshop had 28 participants. Topics covered were

  • Ethics of medical research and biomedical writing: Past, present, and future perspectives
  • Ethical issues in medical research
  • Falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism
  • Why plagiarism is a serious offense in the current academic environment
  • Plagiarism detection software
  • Avoiding plagiarism: Tips and advice

The best moment of the workshop came at the end, when one of the participants, a senior professor, came up to me to congratulate and thank me for the workshop and commented, “I never knew these things all my life, although I have more than 25 years of clinical and academic experience. Thank you for enlightening me today.”

(To be continued next week.)

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