Avicenna Journal of Medicine

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61--63

Comments on: “Case reports and research productivity among Syrian medical students: Review, reality, and suggested solutions”


Bassel Atassi 
 Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Chicago Medical School, Internal Medicine, Hematology and Clinical Oncology, The Cancer Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Bassel Atassi
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
USA




How to cite this article:
Atassi B. Comments on: “Case reports and research productivity among Syrian medical students: Review, reality, and suggested solutions”.Avicenna J Med 2016;6:61-63


How to cite this URL:
Atassi B. Comments on: “Case reports and research productivity among Syrian medical students: Review, reality, and suggested solutions”. Avicenna J Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Nov 14 ];6:61-63
Available from: http://www.avicennajmed.com/text.asp?2016/6/2/61/179555


Full Text

The Editor,

We would like to address the feedback we received from some readers concerning our recently published article, “Case reports and research productivity among Syrian medical students: Review, reality, and suggested solutions” published in October–December 2015 issue of Avicenna Journal of Medicine.

A major concern was that our search of case reports missed several publications that met the study's inclusion criteria. This resulted in underreporting the total number of Syrian case reports. We admit that our methods missed mentioning the search end period. We would like to clarify that our search was open-dated in PubMed until July 2014, the date we started analyzing the data and preparing the manuscript. Therefore, case reports after this date were not counted in our study.

Moreover, other reason of miscounting some reports is that few case reports were published as reviews and not under case report category.

Using the same search time frame and expanding to other publication categories, we re-examined our search process and had found a number of other case reports. The total number of missed case reports was 14, which raises our results from 47 to 61 case reports published by Syrian medical personnel.

Despite miscounting these case reports, we believe that our comparison provided a valid conclusion since we used the same search methods, keywords, and publications timing for both countries compared in the study, Syria and Tunisia.

Another concern is that how could this article reflect medical students' productivity in medical research when only evaluated case reports published from Syria. This might have shown a discrepancy between the title, introduction, and conclusion from one side to the methods and results on the other side. To clarify: We were aiming to show what percentage of those published case reports included medical students among their author teams, but that was unfortunately not possible because most authors did not classify their academic degrees or positions. Nevertheless, the discussion section highlighted the importance of focusing on medical students as strategic and pivotal step to face the major deficiencies in Syrian medical research productivity [Table 1].{Table 1}

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.