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Inicio Medicina Universitaria The importance of scientific research in higher education
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Vol. 19. Issue 74.
Pages 19-20 (January - March 2017)
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Vol. 19. Issue 74.
Pages 19-20 (January - March 2017)
Letter to the Editor
DOI: 10.1016/j.rmu.2016.11.002
Open Access
The importance of scientific research in higher education
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Y.A. Castellanos Castellanosa, C.M. Rios-Gonzálezb,
Corresponding author
carlosmigue_rios@live.com

Corresponding author at: Tte. Fariña y Vice. Pte. Sánchez, #392, Cnel. Oviedo, Paraguay. Tel.: +595 971708328.
a School of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, Floridablanca, Santander, Colombia
b School of Medicine, National University of Caaguazú, Cnel. Oviedo, Paraguay
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Dear editor:

Medical education, both undergraduate and postgraduate, is a highly complex scientific-academic work, since it involves the teaching of new knowledge and clinical experiences acquired throughout the everyday life of health professionals. Regarding the formation of medical students and their specialties, there are two important aspects within this academic process.1

The first one is based on structured educational training, where the role of the teacher plays an important part, as it gives instructions for acquiring knowledge and skills in the functions of daily practice as a physician or specialist. In this, the basic fundaments are given that must comply with the indicators set out in the program established for the practices, in order to provide quality and ethical medical care according to different scenarios. To achieve this goal, we need learning strategies with an established purpose and objectives, practical- theoretical correlation, and finally, an evaluation of the process to be able to quantify the quality of teaching.2

The second aspect relates to bringing acquired theory to medical practice, with the scientific foundations in accordance with evidence-based medicine; in other words, “applying what has been learned.” This phase is relevant to the generation of adaptive skills for the modifications that are carried out in the course of the professional day-to-day. Education, health institutions, scientific societies and unions are also involved.3,4

It is there where the scientific societies of students or health professionals play a key role, because through them, the student deepens the knowledge acquired during his career years, both undergraduate and postgraduate. At the same time, the students update their knowledge of new therapeutic or surgical interventions through conferences, conventions or journals for the benefit of the patient through the dissemination of research carried out in these societies.5 It allows a generation of friendly links in different countries to exchange clinical experiences in order to improve education and thus the opportunity for care. These entities provide tools for undergraduate or postgraduate students to join the advancement of science and technology, though we must not forget that this requires a solid and structured foundation to be able to arrive at the discussion of any raised hypothesis. When an undergraduate or graduate student decides to work in research, they must be aware of 3 factors: a: Economic income, b: Extended periods of training, and c: Uncertainty in success. These 3 factors lead to very few students to continue the line of research.6

It should be emphasized that it is important to allow the student time to dedicate to medical scientific research, as it strengthens continuous and comprehensive training, and through his/her concerns, which lead to research work, the veracity of knowledge based on evidence grows, where scientific societies take action by disseminating this information to other colleagues.7

In 2009, Dr. Cañedo, et al. reported that scientific production in Latin America is low, and 82.82% is mainly produced in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In Colombia, publication is encouraged by approximately 2%, which is very low.8 At the same time, it is perceived that we are facing great difficulties with regard to the number of researchers, since this is decreasing due to a lack of interested staff, academic stress or economic deficiency in stimulating this area.9 Therefore, educational institutions should encourage research from the undergraduate level, and improve and increase this index, since not all publications are applicable to our population and we cannot take only the consensuses from other countries that deal with different situations.

It is recommended to generate strategies that increase scientific production, promote and stimulate research stages, allocate time to generate new knowledge or strengthen previous ones, as well as the acquisition of the necessary methodological tools.10 By increasing this indicator, the rankings of the university and the scientific society will also increase, making the gain not only for the entities in question but for the student in formation, since it generates intellectual appropriation, recognition and dominion in a line. This is achieved through the creation of student magazines that disseminate the scientific productions made in the different specialties, promoting continuous education and supporting scientific growth.

For undergraduate students, the Latin American Federation of Scientific Societies of Medical Students (or FELSOCEM, by its Spanish acronym) is responsible for encouraging undergraduate medical students in scientific growth by supporting them in the formulation of new questions to be solved. Through different working committees, such as the medical education committee, the scientific evaluation and development committee, and the comprehensive health care committee. In Colombia this society is known as The Association of Scientific Societies of Medical Students of Colombia (or ASCEMCOL, by its Spanish acronym), which is governed by the same functions as FELSOCEM.

Currently, in our institutions of higher education in the area of healthcare, there is no scientific society that ratifies FELSOCEM. Therefore it is recommended to work on this and take the initiative to create a partnership for academic-scientific purposes, encouraging postgraduate students from different areas to focus on research from the beginning of their postgraduate course, while not forgetting that it cannot be an obligation but by personal motivation.

As a conclusion, universities that have health science faculties are responsible for the education of the health professional, and in turn, health care institutions play an important role, as they allow for training and clinical skills. Scientific societies collaborate and reinforce continuous and investigative learning, and finally, unions and groups protect the professionals of the legislature and supervise for the adherence to moral and ethical integrity.

Funding

No financial support was provided.

References
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Copyright © 2017. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
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