Journal of Pharmacy And Bioallied Sciences

: 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78--79

Biostatistics teaching to the undergraduate medical students through research-oriented medical education posting program in a Teaching Medical Institute in Coastal Area of Pondicherry: An experience of a biostatistician

Senthilvel Vasudevan 
 Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Senthilvel Vasudevan
Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:
Vasudevan S. Biostatistics teaching to the undergraduate medical students through research-oriented medical education posting program in a Teaching Medical Institute in Coastal Area of Pondicherry: An experience of a biostatistician.J Pharm Bioall Sci 2016;8:78-79

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Vasudevan S. Biostatistics teaching to the undergraduate medical students through research-oriented medical education posting program in a Teaching Medical Institute in Coastal Area of Pondicherry: An experience of a biostatistician. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Aug 21 ];8:78-79
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Research-oriented medical education (ROME) in India is very much important in undergraduate (UG) medical education. This type of training is very much essential and useful for UG medical students. Then, only their research knowledge will be increased at MBBS level, and they definitely participated in the research activities, in their future also. By this, medical educators have to improve the medical education. For this, medical educators have enough and updated knowledge to teach to the medical students.[1] Nowadays, this type of training will be encouraged is essential and very important to medical research, and to our nation viz., 48th World Health Assembly recommended need of medical schools for their contribution in health care delivery, research, and its implications, preventive and promotional activities in community level.[2] I would like to share my personal experience in ROME in the Department of Community Medicine in Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, during the year 2008–2010 and I have been worked in the same college as Assistant Professor in Biostatistics up to March 13, 2014, and I taught the subject biostatistics to the first part of the third professional students. Under this ROME, the students were posted in the Community Medicine Department for 1 full month in 24 h in a week. The entire batch of students was divided into four groups by Head of the Department. First of all, the faculties in the department choose one individual topic for each four groups. Then, the faculties explain all the steps involved in the research methodology, how to conduct research, and how to frame a questionnaire or proforma.[3] In ROME, my part was explaining all the concepts of biostatistics, its tools, how to make a flow chart for the methodology, how to arrive the sample size, various study designs, how to draw the diagrams and graphs by manually, various statistical tests (t-test, F-test, χ2-test, correlation, etc.), how to enter the data in Microsoft (MS) Excel 2007 (Microsoft Company, USA), how to draw the diagrams in Excel, how to enter the data in the questionnaire and how to transfer the data to Excel and Excel to Statistical Software Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16.0 version, IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York), how to analyze the collected mass (raw) data (primary data), how to do the analysis with the help of statistical software and how to write the results according to the analysis of data for all the four groups of students.

In the analysis part, I was taught how to tabulate the analyzed data (i.e., result), to find percentage, and to present the analyzed the data in terms of diagrams and graphs like bar chart - vertical and horizontal, multiple bar chart, histogram, percentage bar diagram (sub-divided bar diagram), pie diagram and exploded pie diagram, line diagram, scatter diagram and graphs), how to find odds ratio, the association between variables (χ2-test), correlate between variables (correlation r value), and how to write the conclusion according to the analyzed data (result). The students were prepared Gantt chart for their respective research. For that, they had been divided the whole month as follows: They took 12 working days for data collection, and 6 working days for entering the data in MS Excel 2007. In those 6 days, all the four batches of students underwent training in MS Excel 2007 and in SPSS 16.0. For analyzing the data, they spent 3 days, and they took 5 days to prepare the results and to make the final research report in 2 days. In the rest of the days, they conduct some awareness program. By this ROME program, the UG medical student's knowledge would increase in research and get some interest to do research in their future studies. Nowadays some of the students are showing a keen interest in doing Indian Council of Medical Research Short Term Studentship (ICMR STS) projects.[4] I am very proud to mention here that my college student's strength only displayed more in the list of a selection of ICMR STS 2009. All the four groups of students were involved in the competition which was grouped among them.

Out of those four groups, one group only had applied the biostatistical tools properly, and the particular batch only won the best student's research project award. By this type of teaching, their skill was increased in the subject (biostatistics) and automatically their stage fears were eliminated. They proved their research work statistically by using biostatistics tools. The knowledge of Biostatistical tools and the usage of Statistical Software SPSS not only helps in their UG (MBBS) study but also it is very helpful to their research carried out in the form of clinical postings, and in future they will be posted as Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship in the Department of Community Medicine for 2 months as per Medical Council of India norms and as well as in their post graduate (PG) (MD) study. This ROME experience will definitely be helpful to prepare their Dissertation/Project in PG (MD, MS., etc.) studies. The subject biostatistics is the most important subject for UG and PG students. So, the collaboration between statisticians and medical professionals are very important in the research. The similar suggestion was found in a study by Adams-Huet and Ahn have discussed that the increasing collaboration between statisticians and other specialties of medical professionals beginning with the preparation of protocol writing for any particular study and its development.[5]

At the end of ROME, the MBBS Students would be getting an idea about the subject biostatistics. They will come to know that without biostatistical tools, there was no analyze, and there was no proof made in Medicine and Public Health. By ROME, they came to know how to prepare various types of tables and how to write the reports relating to their analysis, research, etc. For every batch of the UG students posted in ROME, in the Department of Community Medicine will be trained thoroughly in biostatistics and its applications, tools, statistical tests, diagrammatic representation, MS Excel 2007, and SPSS 16.0 version statistical software. From this, I would come to a conclusion the teaching subject of biostatistics is very much essential, need and important also. Research is very much essential for the UG medical students. Then only they will become a good physician and a good research in the India. By continuous treatment given by a doctor for a long period, then only they will come to know the technique of the line of treatment and the details of the diseases like H1N1, dengue and other vector borne diseases. Due to lack of faculties and time (working days), the research activities are very less in medical colleges in India. This is to be a change in future; they only good and efficient physicians would come out from each and every medical college in India. Some faculties only motivated their students for doing research. This mentality would also to be changed in due course. The present syllabus of medical education curriculum is very limited, and this is not sufficient to the present scenario of medical UG students. Hence, I request to revise the present curriculum of medical education and add more portions related to biostatistics in the UG medical education curriculum. Then only, they will learn about all the quantitative, qualitative and other high-level methods and techniques in their UG level studies. That is very much useful to their PG or higher level studies. So, I have to conclude that the biostatistics is very important and necessary subject in the medical education curriculum.


The author was very much thankful to Dr. (Brig.) Zile Singh, HOD and Prof., Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet, Pondicherry - 605 014, South India.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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