Time flies by and the more I get into Urology, the more I understand that many skills need to be developed for a nice professional development. The world of publishing represents a challenge that is vital for us as medical practitioners to embrace, to be able to practice evidence based medicine and contribute to progress. Scientific papers represent a long term strategy for the white coats to keep their promise of the best possible care.
The journey of scientific writing will probably make you reach the destinations of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Almost every time I need to understand a topic from my field, I scroll on Pubmed or directly on Cochrane for systematic literature reviews. I advice you to start your search like this, too. Encapsulated data with valuable filters, this type of published work offers much more than a summary or an overview on recent research interests as up to date hot topics or approaches on the subject; but highlights problematic gaps or future pathways for ideas to be developed. It is about connecting and creating more dots, to finally be able to zoom out your knowledge and see the shape of the next question mark.
Systematic literature reviews will not only help you design a more powerful research strategy, but also get used to classify and evaluate the original papers that you read. Dissecting similar published work on a preferred topic by forcing you to group and connect or compare information puts something valuable on the table: it’s in-depth understanding of conceptualization, study design and problem solving strategies, critical thinking and writing styles- all beautiful tools to refine your future papers with.
Brace yourself to get used to reading systematic literature reviews and even write one as a new year’s resolution! Healthy, Happy & Fruitful 2021, my friends!