Cochrane International Mobility Programme
Posted on 27th June 2019 by Chiara Nava
Hi Chiara! Who are you? Give us a brief introduction…
Ciao! I’m Chiara, a junior medical doctor from Italy, where I graduated last year from the University of Milano-Bicocca. I’m interested in paediatrics, neonatology and evidence-based medicine (EBM) and these passions took me to Sweden for an exciting experience: the Cochrane International Mobility Programme!
Tell us more… what is the Cochrane International Mobility (CIM) Programme and how did you find out about it?
One year ago, thanks to a suggestion from Roberto Bellù, my Masters thesis’ supervisor in Italy, I attended a course on Cochrane Methodology for Systematic Reviews held at Lund University by Cochrane Sweden. That was my first contact with Cochrane and I immediately became interested! For that reason, when the Director of Cochrane Sweden, Matteo Bruschettini, told me about the launch of this programme, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me.
The CIM Programme is an exchange programme (due to be officially launched at the Santiago Colloquium 2019) which allows health researchers to experience training periods at Cochrane Centres, Fields or Groups all around the world. So far only medical students or junior MDs like me have been involved, but basically anyone interested in the work of Cochrane is welcome to participate.
How has your experience been so far?
Unfortunately, only a few days remain before my CIM will come to an end! I’ve spent three months at Cochrane Sweden and they have been really intense and inspiring ones. Firstly, I’ve been involved as co-author on two systematic reviews on neonatal topics, one of them with Sandra, a medical student from Lund University. Through them I enriched my knowledge in the neonatal field, but most of all I had the opportunity to really immerse myself in the process of a systematic review: formulation of the question, writing the protocol, planning and running the search strategy, screening studies, extracting data, evaluating the risk of biases, analyzing the results. What better way than this to learn about EBM!
But that’s not all. In these last few months months I’ve been involved in the every-day life of the Cochrane centre: enlightening meetings with researchers from the University and from the hospital (HTA Skane), from other associations (GESI), and from other countries or working fields different than health (education in school, environment). I’ve contributed to knowledge translation, including posting the activities I took part in onto Cochrane Sweden’s Twitter account (hashtag #CochraneInternationalMobility) and other social media. I went to the Cochrane Nordic Centre in Copenhagen to hear some lectures from their team, and I took part in the course on Cochrane Methodology held in May, presenting some topics by myself.
It seems a big opportunity! Do you think that this could impact on your professional future?
Definitely, as it could for every health professional, not only for those interested in EBM or specifically in Cochrane. For example, are you interested in pre-clinical research? By learning how to judge a study reporting an RCT you’ll know by heart how to conduct one! Are you focused only on working in the unit with patients? You will learn how to deal with the huge amount of evidence we are presented with, when to rely on a study, how to take informed decisions for your patient, based on up-to-date evidence. Do you aim to work in the Public Health field and post-clinical or epidemiological research? Systematic reviews are the basis from where guidelines and healthcare recommendations rise.
This was all possible because, as I learnt, Cochrane is not a set of specific knowledge, but of instruments made to handle the knowledge already present. It is not made up of cultured professionals and eminent professors, but by scientists full of enthusiasm, passion and spirit of collaboration.
This is what will have more impact on my professional future and, I hope, on the future of other researchers. Nowadays, I’m not sure if in the coming years I will be more interested in research, clinical work or evidence synthesis… but I’m sure that this experience will make me a better health care professional.
Do you have any further suggestions about the programme?
I hope that more and more Centres, Fields and Groups will participate in this programme; that it could be spread and implemented, recognized and, one day, sponsored by the Universities.
But most of all, I warmly suggest this experience to students, researchers, medical doctors or other professionals interested in improving their careers and knowledge in EBM and in coming into contact with this inspiring global community which is Cochrane (while also travelling in another country!).
This was a big opportunity for which I want to thank the Cochrane Sweden team for; welcoming me into their lovely Centre and beautiful country.
How can you learn more about CIM?
You’re welcome to ask me any questions by writing a comment at the bottom of this blog.
Read more about the Cochrane International Mobility Scheme.