SOCH – India (Students’ Orbit for Collaborative Healthcare – India)

1st International Congress for Innovation in Global Surgery

doi: 10.52648/ICIGS.1000_9

SOCH – India (Students’ Orbit for Collaborative Healthcare – India)

Students’ Orbit for Collaborative Healthcare – India

A study reported that 25 Indian medical institutions published more than 100 articles in a year, accounting for 40.3% of the country’s total research output between 2005 and 2014, while 332 medical colleges in the country had no publications. There is a need to encourage medical students to learn about evidence-based medicine. It helps achieve the Triple Aim’s objectives of improved quality, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced costs by influencing treatment, healthcare management and policies. However, there currently exist several lacunae in the Indian medical curriculum to involve understandings of evidence-based medicine and research in its formal training programmes. Local, regional & global collaborations can help promote research, leadership, and capacity building between medical students & health professionals. SOCH – India (Students’ Orbit for Collaborative Healthcare – India) derived from the Hindi word ‘SOCH’ which means ‘a thought / an idea’ is one of India’s first medical student-led national research collaborative networks (SCRNs). It aims to provide Indian medical students with unique applied academic training experiences, as observed in UK trainee-led collaborative study models like STARSurg.

The structure of the collaborative network involves:
1. Senior mentor guidance: Higher degrees of credibility, scientific validity, efficient methodology, and impact are made possible by faculty representatives serving as the collaborative network’s guides.
2. Core Support Team: Student members of the collaborative serve as the study’s coordinators, advancing the collaborative’s goals and objectives. They are grouped into a steering committee, operations committee, research capacity building committee, writing group, statistics group and data validators.
3. Regional, State and Local Leads: Students from different regions of the country collaborate to provide data for improved generalisability.
4. Authorship: It is inclusive and stated before participation in the study. Under a single collaborative network, all members can pose as citable authors.

There are currently 606 medical colleges offering 92115 seats for medical aspirants, according to the National Medical Commission (NMC) India, the regulating body in charge of medical education and professionals. A significant proportion of this future healthcare workforce is yet to participate in research. The most common barriers medical students face to engaging in research during all years of study include lack of formal training, inadequate knowledge, time commitments, a lack of opportunities, and the absence of research culture at their universities. SCRNs can help overcome these obstacles and promote research among medical students. Furthermore, the quality and quantity of research can be potentially increased with such collaborative research models. Due to regional diversity, collaborative networks allow a multi-centric approach study with high numbers of patients in a rapid time frame. They strengthen the principles of repeatability, validity, consistency, and timely reporting of study results. SCRNs have benefits by making research more accessible, increasing time efficiency with collective training, and cultivating research into clinical practices.

As SOCH-India expands opportunities for medical students across India, a low- and middle-income country with limited resources, it can potentiate an increase in the country’s research output. It paves the long-term path forward by promoting the use of evidence-based medicine in clinical practice, therefore, enhancing the healthcare system.

Keywords: Research, Capacity Building, Medical Education, India, collaborative

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