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A review of 'Research Skills for Medical Students'.

Written by Thomas Lemon · Tuesday 5th March 2013

This is a review of 'Research Skills for Medical Students' 1st Edition (Allen, AK – 2012 Sage: London ISBN 9780857256010)

Themes – Research Skills, Critical Analysis Medical Students

Thesis – Research and critical analysis are important skills as highlighted by Tomorrow’s Doctors

Detailed Review

Allen, drawing on many years’ experience as a researcher and lecturer in the Institute of Education, at Cardiff University has bridged the gap in Research methodology literature targeted at medical students. Pushing away from comparative texts somewhat dry and unengaging tones, this book encourages student interaction, empowering the student from start to finish. Not so much a book as a helpful hand guiding the student through the pitfalls and benefits of research and critical analysis from start to finish.

Part of the Learning Matters Medical Education series, in which each book relates to an outcome of Tomorrow’s Doctors, this book is written from the a lecturers standpoint, guiding students through making sense of research, judging research quality, how to carry out research personally, writing research articles and how to get writings published. All of these are now imperative skills in what is a very competitive medical employment market.

This concise book, through its clarity, forcefulness, correct and direct use of potentially new words to the reader, Allen manages to fully develop the books objectives, using expert narrative skills.

With Allen’s interest in Global health, it is little wonder why this books exposition is clear and impartial, Allen consistently refers back to the Tomorrows doctors guidelines at the beginning of each chapter, enabling students to link the purpose of that chapter to the grander scheme. This enables Allen to argue the relevance of each chapter to the student before they have disregarded it. Openly declared as a book aimed at medical students (and Foundation trainees where appropriate) the authors style remains formal, but with parent like undertones. It is written to encapsulate and involve the student reader personally, with Allen frequently using ‘you’ as if directly speaking to the reader, and useful and appropriate activities that engage the reader in the research process, in an easy to use student friendly format.

This book is an excellent guide for all undergraduate health students, not limited to medical students, and I thank Ann K Allen for imparting her knowledge in such a useful and interactive way.'

This was original published on medical educator.