The Department of Medical Research (DMR) was the first department of Rehman Medical College (RMC) to be established in 2010 as a special initiative of Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) to introduce a culture of medical research among the undergraduates and faculty of RMC. The department teaches and trains students in research methods, biostatistics, and medical writing, through organized and structured programs included in the undergraduate curricula. It also facilitates postgraduate and faculty research through consultations and assistance at various levels, from project development to publications, as needed. During the span of a decade, the department has successfully implemented a viable research program in RMC and trained a large number of students, in addition to promoting research projects and publications by staff members.
The vision of DMR is aligned with that of RMI and seeks the production of research capable professionals who can put their research skills to effective use in solving national health problems at any community level.
To achieve the vision, DMR embarked on a mission of implementing an intensive and incremental undergraduate research training program that imparts graduates with competencies in medical research, critical thinking, problem solving and independent work ethics.
Alongside the training of medical students, the DMR also holds workshops on various aspects of Research Methodology, Biostatistics and Medical Writing for the RMC faculty members as part of human resource capacity building and to recruit faculty as Research Supervisors. This has caused a gradual change of mindset towards research as a feasible and desired activity rather than an off-limits or high-level prohibitive effort.
DMR offers an incremental teaching and training program for MBBS students that spans all five years of medical college education. The program starts with development of basic research skills that include Research Methodology, Biostatistics, Medical Writing, as well as execution of research projects. The gamut of projects range from Basic to Applied Research with provision for Clinical and Community Research projects.
The DMR is headed by Director Medical Research, supported by two Senior Research Officers, and two Research Officers. A Junior Graphic Designer is designated to work full time on development of the two official research journals published by the department.
About 150 undergraduate research projects were approved since 2011, out of which close to 100 have been completed; around 40 faculty research projects have been conducted as well.
Two research journals are published online and in print form by the department on a quarterly basis since 2015. These are the Journal of Medical Students (jmedstudents.pk) and the Journal of Rehman Medical Institute (jrmi.pk). Students and faculty contribute regularly to these journals.
DMR is located on the 7th floor of the RMC building, comprising of staff offices, a board room cum research library, a record room, and a research laboratory.