The AfJEM blog
My name is Temesgen Beyene, resident in emergency medicine, Ethiopia and this is how I became a researcher
I am a chief resident in the Emergency Medicine and Critical Care residency and lecturer at Addis Ababa University. As an Emergency Medicine resident, I am committed not only to developing my clinical skills in the Emergency Department but also to developing my skills in clinical research. Emergency Medicine (EM) is a completely new specialty in Ethiopia; thus far not much research base exists to support our practice. Clinical research done elsewhere is rarely relevant here and many of the research questions asked elsewhere do not apply in our setting. As the practice of EM develops in Ethiopia, research to support that practice must develop also. I would like to become expert in the field of clinical research so I can lead that development.
Life expectancy at birth: 65 years (vs. United States: 80 years)
Total expenditure on health per capita: $73 (vs. United States: $ 9,403)
Researchers per million people: 45 (vs. United States: 4,018)
The Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Programme
I was accepted on a one-year Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Programme 2016/17 in April 2016. Coincidentally I heard that I was accepted whilst presenting three research posters at the 2016 International Conference on Emergency Medicine in Cape Town South Africa. I discovered the programme during a simple web based search earlier that year and applied for clinical research training in addition to my specialist residency training.
The Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Programme offered by Harvard University Medical School office of Global Education is a highly competitive, clinical research training programme for clinical research scientists from all over the world. I am one of 113 advanced trainees from around the world, selected for the ability and interest to pursue clinical or epidemiological research. Students are drawn from hospitals, clinics, and academic communities globally and bring the unique perspective of their home country and institution to address research issues in a clinical or population-based setting. This year-long, intensive programme is designed for clinicians and clinician-scientists aimed to achieve three goals:
The programme consists of three on-site workshops (two in London, UK, and one in Boston, US) as well as 85 online lectures, five team assignments, 20 quizzes covering lecture content, a midterm and a final exam, as well as two or three interactive webinars per month in biostatistics, epidemiology, biostatistical computing, ethics and regulatory approaches, leadership, applied regression, longitudinal analysis and correlated outcomes, survey design, causal diagrams, and advanced quantitative methods. Additionally I have selected an elective and a concentration and completed my own course work related to those tracks. The program requires an original research proposal as a Capstone Project, and graduation from the program relies on successful completion of this project.
Cost was a significant barrier. I was able to negotiate a 50% reduction of the usual tuition of $11,900 through the Harvard Medical School Tuition Reduction Programme. Additional expenses of travel and accommodation and supplies were my responsibility.
I am on schedule to complete my residency in January 2018. With the skills developed in the programme and my clinical qualification, I will be well positioned to apply for a further clinical research fellowship at Addis Ababa University. In a country where the burden of disease is high and resources low, I hope to begin developing projects - possibly multi-site - within Ethiopia that will address the many questions that are relevant to Emergency Medicine as it is practiced here. I’d be keen to develop my skillset in performing systematic reviews.
Temesgen is currently a reviewer for the Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review Group. His Google Scholar profile is here
About the author
Stevan is the editor-in-chief for AfJEM. Providing access to resource appropriate research for those working in low and middle income settings is one of his passions. Others include keeping his four chickens out of the family veg patch.