Systematic reviews are a key element of evidence-based healthcare. By systematically identifying, critically appraising and integrating the findings of all relevant studies on a topic area they provide a high quality summary of the existing evidence on that topic. Being able to identify relevant literature and critically appraise findings are key skills for all future doctors. Being able to conduct a systematic review is also a core skill for those interested in pursuing an academic clinical career path.
Inspired by medical students who have successfully contributed to systematic reviews over the past few years, this group was set up by Dr Juliet Usher-Smith and Prof. Simon Griffin from the Primary Care Unit and Isla Kuhn from the Medical Library in 2018.
The aims of the group are:
- To provide medical students with basic training in systematic review methods;
- To link interested students with researchers across the Cambridge Biomedical Campus who are planning or doing systematic reviews to provide them with potential opportunities to contribute to systematic reviews, be co-authors on research publications and present at national conferences;
- To provide an opportunity for students doing systematic reviews to share knowledge, skills and experience with each other.
This year, the basic training will be delivered across six 1 hour sessions. The first four sessions will be delivered remotely and the last two will be delivered in a hybrid format with students encouraged to attend in person. The sessions will cover the core elements in conducting systematic reviews and provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience of searching the literature, screening papers for inclusion, extracting data, assessing the quality of studies and synthesizing data. The sessions are open to all medical students in any year group.
A list of potential systematic reviews for students to contribute to will be provided to students who have attended the sessions, after the final session in November. You can view example systematic review projects from previous years here. We cannot guarantee that there will be projects for all students.
If you are a student and are interested in joining the group, please see MedEd for more details and contact GPEG (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to be added to the group.
If you are a researcher and have a systematic review which you have started or are planning and think would be suitable for one or more medical students to help with then please download and complete this Systematic review proposal form for researchers and return it to GPEG (email@example.com).
Find out more
Developing training and opportunities for students in systematic reviews, from Juliet A. Usher-Smith, Hannah Harrison, Rebecca Dennison, Sarah Kelly, Rebecca Jones, Isla Kuhn, Simon J. Griffin. Medical Education. 1 September 2021