Indian Journal of Urology
: 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 90--91

Author Reply Re: Goel A. Research training during residency. Indian J Urol 2017;33:257-8

Apul Goel 
 Department of Urology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Apul Goel
Department of Urology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Goel A. Author Reply Re: Goel A. Research training during residency. Indian J Urol 2017;33:257-8.Indian J Urol 2018;34:90-91

How to cite this URL:
Goel A. Author Reply Re: Goel A. Research training during residency. Indian J Urol 2017;33:257-8. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Nov 30 ];34:90-91
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

We would like to thank the reader for taking interest in reading the Editorial and providing feedback.

The author mistakenly feels that while mentioning Indian work on chyluria, a significant work on povidone-iodine instillation published in the British Journal of Urology in 2004 was omitted.[1] We simply aimed to highlight that research on chyluria has been scant from India, especially when India contributes to 40% of the global burden of lymphatic filariasis.[2] To justify this statement, giving examples of 2016 and 2017, we mentioned that only a handful of articles were published on this topic from India. We do not mention anything about 2004 or the many other articles that have been published from India on chyluria in the last many years.

One parameter to assess the impact of any research is calculation of citation index. The Editorial had mentioned that a recent publication had compiled a list of urological articles, published between 1955 and 2009, that received more than 100 citations.[3] Of the 1239 articles with more than 100 citations, only 2 articles came from India. The letter written to us has drawn attention about another recent article that lists 100 most-cited publications.[4] We would like to clarify that the Editorial mentions “all” articles with more than 100 citations and not “top-100 cited articles.” These are two different statistics. Such “lists” are published regularly, and the Editorial never intended to convey that the list mentioned was “latest."

The Editorial had simply stated that “articles describing novel concepts are rare (from India).” However, the letter interpreted it as, “to make the assumption that only highly cited research is 'novel' might be flawed.” We would clarify that the Editorial never discussed any relationship between novelty and citations. It is a known fact the most cited articles are often “guidelines” that are published by various societies.

The author wrongly feels that the Editorial has attributed dearth of research on lack of deep thinking by residents. We would like to highlight that the title of the Editorial was, “Research training during residency.” One aspect that was brought out in the Editorial was the importance of “deep thinking/reflection.” It is known that reflecting on what you read and do improves learning that translates into better thesis/project. Although the habit of “reflection” has to be lifelong, it should start early during residency. It is my personal observation that residents do what they are “told” (obey orders) and learn by simple memorization (rote learning).[5]

The author has rightly emphasized the role of institutions in maintaining databases that can be used by residents for research purposes. However, the Editorial was not written with the intention to discuss “all” the problems related to thesis writing, especially those that need to be addressed at the institutional level.

The letter states, “a resident is as good as the environment he is taught in.” This statement is wrong. There are 3 factors that influence learning (that includes thesis also): student characteristics, teachers' approach, and context characteristics. Context characteristics include ethos of the department running the course and the characteristics of the curriculum.[5] Only blaming the institution is incorrect. In fact, the most important determinant is “student characteristics."[5]

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Conflicts of interest:

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Goel S, Mandhani A, Srivastava A, Kapoor R, Gogoi S, Kumar A, et al. Is povidone iodine an alternative to silver nitrate for renal pelvic instillation sclerotherapy in chyluria? BJU Int 2004;94:1082-5.
2Kant L. Deleting the 'neglect' from two neglected tropical diseases in India. Indian J Med Res 2016;143:398-400.
3Heldwein FL, Rhoden EL, Morgentaler A. Classics of urology: A half century history of the most frequently cited articles (1955-2009). Urology 2010;75:1261-8.
4Nason GJ, Tareen F, Mortell A. The top 100 cited articles in urology: An update. Can Urol Assoc J 2013;7:E16-24.
5Newble D, Cannon R. Helping students learn. A Handbook for Medical Teachers. 4th ed. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 2001. p. 5-7.