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1.  Physician participation in clinical research and trials: issues and approaches 
The rapid development of new drugs, therapies, and devices has created a dramatic increase in the number of clinical research studies that highlights the need for greater participation in research by physicians as well as patients. Furthermore, the potential of clinical research is unlikely to be reached without greater participation of physicians in research. Physicians face a variety of barriers with regard to participation in clinical research. These barriers are system-or organization-related as well as research-and physician-related. To encourage physician participation, appropriate organizational and operational infrastructures are needed in health care institutes to support research planning and management. All physicians should receive education and training in the fundamentals of research design and methodology, which need to be incorporated into undergraduate medical education and postgraduate training curricula and then reinforced through continuing medical education. Medical schools need to analyze current practices of teaching–learning and research, and reflect upon possible changes needed to develop a ‘student-focused teaching–learning and research culture’. This article examines the barriers to and benefits of physician participation in clinical research as well as interventions needed to increase their participation, including the specific role of undergraduate medical education. The main challenge is the unwillingness of many physicians and patients to participate in clinical trials. Barriers to participation include lack of time, lack of resources, trial-specific issues, communication difficulties, conflicts between the role of clinician and scientist, inadequate research experience and training for physicians, lack of rewards and recognition for physicians, and sometimes a scientifically uninteresting research question, among others. Strategies to encourage physician participation in clinical research include financial and nonfinancial incentives, adequate training, research questions that are in line with physician interests and have clear potential to improve patient care, and regular feedback. Finally, encouraging research culture and fostering the development of inquiry and research-based learning among medical students is now a high priority in order to develop more and better clinician-researchers.
PMCID: PMC3661249  PMID: 23745079
physician; clinical research; clinical trial; medical education
2.  Career choices among medical students in Bangladesh 
Information regarding career choices of medical students is important to plan human resources for health, design need-based educational programs, and ensure equitable and quality health care services in a country.
The aim of the study is to identify career choices, nature of career, intended practice locations, and reasons for career choices of Bangladesh medical students.
First-, third-, and fifth-year students of Bangladesh Medical College and Uttara Adhunik Medical College completed a self-report questionnaire on career choices, nature of career, intended practice locations, and reasons for career choices. The students were requested to choose three long-term choices from the given specialties.
A total of 132 students responded (46 males and 86 females) and response rate was 75%. The popular choices (first choice) among males and females were medical specialty, surgical specialty, obstetrics and gynecology, and general practice. For first, second, and third choices altogether, male students chose surgical specialties and female students preferred medical specialties. The leading reasons for selecting a specialty were personal interest and wide job opportunity. More than 67% of respondents wanted to join private services and about 90% chose major cities as practice locations. About 43% of respondents expressed willingness to practice medicine in Bangladesh, whereas 51% of total respondents wanted to practice abroad.
Majority of students intended to specialize in established clinical specialties and subsequently practice in major cities, and more than half wanted to immigrate to other countries. Basic medical subjects and service-oriented (lifestyle-related) and preventive/social medical specialties were found to be less attractive. If this pattern continues, Bangladesh will suffer a chronic shortage of health personnel in certain specialties and in rural areas.
Reorientation of health care and medical education is needed along with policy settings to attract doctors to the scarcity and high-priority disciplines so that imbalances encountered would be minimal in future.
PMCID: PMC3661246  PMID: 23745076
career choices; medical students; Bangladesh
3.  Supporting medical students with learning disabilities in Asian medical schools 
Learning disabilities (LDs) represent the largest group of disabilities in higher education (HE) institutes, including medical schools, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The worrying concern is that two-thirds to half of these students with LDs remain undiagnosed when they start their undergraduate education and may even graduate without having their disabilities diagnosed. These students struggle with their academic abilities, receive poor grades and, as a result, develop lower perceptions of their intellectual abilities than do those students without LDs. All these ultimately hamper their professional practice, employment, and career progression. Appropriate and adequate educational policies, provisions, and practices help students to progress satisfactorily. In Asian countries, public and professional awareness about LDs is low, supportive provisions are limited, legislations are inadequate, data are scarce, and equal-opportunity/widening-participation policies are not implemented effectively in the HE sector. This article discusses the issues related to LDs in medical education and draws policy, provision, and practice implications to identify, assess, and support students with LDs in medical schools, particularly in an Asian context.
PMCID: PMC3643129  PMID: 23745060
medical education; learning disabilities; dyslexia; Asia
4.  Effect of rosiglitazone and ramipril on macrovasculopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes: needs longer treatment and/or higher doses? 
The aim of the study is to investigate whether standard doses of rosiglitazone (4 mg/daily) and ramipril (5 mg/daily) can reverse pre-clinical macrovasculopathy in newly diagnosed never treated type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients.
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 33 T2DM patients were randomized to rosiglitazone (4 mg/daily) or ramipril (5 mg/daily) or placebo for 1 year. Hemodynamic variables were measured at 3 treatment phases and pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (AI) were measured throughout the treatment period.
In diabetic patients, PWV (P = 0.037) and AI (P = 0.005) with ramipril and AI (P < 0.001) with rosiglitazone were significantly reduced during overall treatment period from the baseline; however, these differences were not significant in comparison to placebo.
Discussion and conclusion
The present study showed that treatment with standard doses of rosiglitazone and ramipril are not adequate to reverse pre-clinical vasculopathy in T2DM. The lack of benefit in newly diagnosed T2DM may be because of the relatively short-term intervention and/or the use of lower doses of rosiglitazone/ramipril. Further trials are needed for a longer period of time, possibly with higher doses, to show whether rosiglitazone/ramipril can reverse pre-clinical vasculopathy in T2DM ( number, NCT00489229).
PMCID: PMC3262381  PMID: 22291490
rosiglitazone; ramipril; diabetic vasculopathy
5.  Treatment of diabetic vasculopathy with rosiglitazone and ramipril: Hype or hope? 
Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for increased morbidity and mortality in people with diabetes. Diabetic macrovasculopathy is associated with structural and functional changes in large arteries, which causes endothelial dysfunction, increased arterial stiffness, or decreased arterial distensability. Diabetic complications can be controlled and avoided by strict glycemic control, maintaining normal lipid profiles, regular physical exercise, adopting a healthy lifestyle and pharmacological interventions. Treatment goals for patients with type 2 diabetes specify targets for glycemia and other cardiometabolic risk factors, for example, hypertension and dyslipidemia. In recent years, special attention has been devoted to both thiazolidindiones (TZDs) and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors as clinical trials revealed that these drugs may reduce the rate of progression to diabetes or delay the onset of diabetes, regression of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) to normoglycemia and reduces the composite of all-cause mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with diabetes. This review focuses on the potential roles of rosiglitazone, a member of TZD class of antidiabetic agents, and ramipril, an ACE inhibitor, in preventing the preclinical macrovasculopathy in diabetes and IGT population.
PMCID: PMC2822214  PMID: 20165647
Diabetic vasculopathy; ramipril; rosiglitazone
6.  Students’ Perceptions of ‘Technology-Based’ Lecture Handouts 
Lecture handouts are widely used instructional tools. Handouts supplement rather than substitute students’ regular reading. It is now a common practice to supply PowerPoint handouts and publish lecture handouts on the web for students’ access. A study was conducted among the first year medical students (n=142) of School of Medical Sciences (SMS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in order to determine their perceptions and expectations with regards to lecture handouts provided to them. The majority of the students reported that they read the lecture handouts as a reference and found them useful as a guide for future learning. More than half (68%) of the students expressed dissatisfaction with the overall presentation format of the handouts which is mainly technology-related i.e. PowerPoint and photocopying. This study indicated that students’ expectations and experiences were positive towards the use of handouts. They used handouts as a means of supplementing rather than substituting their learning. Much care is needed when educators supply computer-based handouts, as this study shows a number of limitations when students use them. Medical schools should consider publishing web-based handouts with online and other facilities to make it interesting and effective.
PMCID: PMC3349410  PMID: 22605944
Lecture; Handout; Medical education, Malaysia

Results 1-6 (6)