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How to Prepare an Outstanding Journal Club Presentation

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Rishi Sawhney; How to Prepare an Outstanding Journal Club Presentation. The Hematologist 2006; 3 (1): No Pagination Specified. doi: https://doi.org/10.1182/hem.V3.1.1308

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Dr. Sawhney is a member of the ASH Trainee Council and a Fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Journal club presentations provide a forum through which hematology trainees keep abreast of new developments in hematology and engage in informal discussion and interaction. Furthermore, honing presentation skills and mastering the ability to critically appraise the evidence add to our armamentarium as clinicians. Outlined here is a systematic approach to preparing a journal club presentation, with emphasis on key elements of the talk and references for electronic resources. Use of these tools and techniques will contribute to the success of your presentation.

I. ARTICLE SELECTION:

The foundation of an outstanding journal club presentation rests on the choice of an interesting and well-written paper for discussion. Several resources are available to help you select important and timely research, including the American College of Physicians (ACP) Journal Club and the Diffusion section of The Hematologist . McMaster University has created the McMaster Online Rating of Evidence (MORE) system to identify the highest-quality published research. In fact, the ACP Journal Club uses the MORE system to select their articles 1 . Specific inclusion criteria have been delineated in order to distinguish papers with the highest scientific merit 2 . Articles that have passed this screening are then rated by clinicians on their clinical relevance and newsworthiness, using a graded scale 3 . With the help of your mentors and colleagues, you can use these criteria and the rating scale as informal guidelines to ensure that your chosen article merits presentation.

II. ARTICLE PRESENTATION:

Study Background: This section provides your audience with the necessary information and context for a thoughtful and critical evaluation of the article's significance. The goals are 1) to describe the rationale for and clinical relevance of the study question, and 2) to highlight the preclinical and clinical research that led to the current trial. Review the papers referenced in the study's "Background" section as well as previous work by the study's authors. It also may be helpful to discuss data supporting the current standard of care against which the study intervention is being measured.

Study Methodology and Results: Clearly describe the study population, including inclusion/exclusion criteria. A diagrammatic schema is easy to construct using PowerPoint software and will help to clearly illustrate treatment arms in complex trials. Explain the statistical methods, obtaining assistance from a statistician if needed. Take this opportunity to verbally and graphically highlight key results from the study, with plans to expand on their significance later in your presentation.

Author's Discussion: Present the authors' conclusions and their perspective on the study results, including explanations of inconsistent or unexpected results. Consider whether the conclusions drawn are supported by the data presented.

III. ARTICLE CRITIQUE:

This component of your presentation will define the success of your journal club. A useful and widely accepted approach to this analysis has been published in JAMA's series "User's guide to the medical literature." The Centre for Health Evidence in Canada has made the complete full-text set of these user's guides available online 4 . This site offers review guidelines for a menu of article types, and it is an excellent, comprehensive resource to focus your study critique. A practical, user-friendly approach to literature evaluation that includes a worksheet is also available on the ASH Web site for your use 5 .

While a comprehensive discussion of scientific literature appraisal is beyond the scope of this discussion, several helpful tips warrant mention here. In assessing the validity of the study, it is important to assess for potential sources of bias, including the funding sources and authors' affiliations. It is also helpful to look for accompanying editorial commentary, which can provide a unique perspective on the article and highlight controversial issues. You should plan to discuss the trade-offs between potential benefits of the study intervention versus potential risks and the cost. By utilizing the concept of number needed to treat (NNT), one can assess the true impact of the study intervention on clinical practice. Furthermore, by incorporating the incidence rates of clinically significant toxicities with the financial costs into the NNT, you can generate a rather sophisticated analysis of the study's impact on practice.

IV. CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS:

Restate the authors' take-home message followed by your own interpretation of the study. Provide a personal perspective, detailing why you find this paper interesting or important. Then, look forward and use this opportunity to "think outside the box." Do you envision these study results changing the landscape of clinical practice or redirecting research in this field? If so, how? In articles about therapy, future directions may include moving the therapy up to first-line setting, assessing the drug in combination regimens or other disease states, or developing same-class novel compounds in the pipeline. Searching for related clinical trials on the NIH Web site 6  can prove helpful, as can consultation with an expert in this field.

Good journal club discussions are integral to the educational experience of hematology trainees. Following the above approach, while utilizing the resources available, will lay the groundwork for an outstanding presentation.

WEB BASED REFERENCES

www.acpjc.org

hiru.mcmaster.ca/more/InclusionCriteria.htm

hiru.mcmaster.ca/more/RatingFormSample.htm

www.cche.net/main.asp

www.hematology.org/Trainees

www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials

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Journal Club: How to Prepare Effectively and Smash Your Presentation

A man covered in notes and paper indicating under preparedness for journal club

Journal club. It’s so much more than orally dictating a paper to your peers.

It’s an opportunity to get a bunch of intelligent people in one place to share ideas. It’s a means to expand the scientific vocabulary of you and the audience. It’s a way to stimulate inventive research design.

But there are so many ways it can go wrong.

Poorly explained papers dictated blandly to an unengaged audience. Confusing heaps of data shoehorned into long presentations. Everybody stood awkwardly outside a meeting room you thought would be free.

Whether you are unsure what journal club is, are thinking of starting one, or simply want to up your presentation game—you’ve landed on the ultimate journal club guide.

The whats, the whys, and the hows, all in one place.

What Is a Journal Club in Science?

A journal club is a series of meetings in which somebody is elected to present a research paper, its methods, and findings to a group of colleagues.

The broad goal is to stimulate discussion and ideas that the attendees may apply to their own work. Alternatively, someone may choose a paper because it’s particularly impactful or ingenious.

Usually, the presenter alternates per a rota, and attendance may be optional or compulsory.

The presenter is expected to choose, analyze, and present the paper to the attendees with accompanying slides.

The presentation is then followed by a discussion of the paper by the attendees. This is usually in the form of a series of questions and answers directed toward the presenter. Ergo , the presenter is expected to know and understand the paper and subject area to a moderate extent.

Why Have a Journal Club?

I get it. You’re a busy person. There’s a difficult research problem standing between you and your next tenure.

Why bother spending the time and energy participating in a series of meetings that don’t get you closer to achieving your scientific goals?

The answer: journal club does get you closer to achieving your scientific goals!

But it does this in indirect ways that subtly make you a better scientist. For example:

  • It probably takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • It makes you a better communicator.
  • It makes you better at analyzing data.
  • It improves your ability to critique research.
  • It makes you survey relevant literature.
  • It exposes you and your audience to new concepts.
  • It exposes your audience to relevant literature.
  • It improves the reading habits of you and your audience.
  • It gets clever people talking to each other.
  • It gives people a break from practical science.

It also provides a platform for people to share ideas based on their collective scientific experience. And every participant has a unique set of skills. So every participant has the potential to provide valuable insight.

This is what a good journal club should illicit.

Think of journal club as reading a book. It’s going to enrich you and add beneficially to the sum of your mental furniture, but you won’t know how until you’ve read it.

Need empirical evidence to convince you? Okay!

In 1988 a group of medical interns was split into two groups. One received journal club teaching and the other received a series of seminars. Approximately 86% of the journal club group reported improved reading habits. This compares to 0% in the group who received seminar-based teaching. [1]

Journal Club Template Structure

So now you know what journal club is, you might wonder, “how is it organized and structured?”

That’s what the rest of this article delves into. If you’re in a rush and need to head back to the lab, here’s a graphical summary (Figure 1).

A summary of how to organize, prepare, and present journal club.

Nobody likes meetings that flounder around and run over time. And while I have no data to prove it, I reckon people take less away from such meetings. Here’s a basic journal club template that assumes you are the presenter.

Introduce the Paper, Topic, Journal, and Authors

Let your audience know what you will be talking about before diving right in. Remember that repetition (of the important bits) can be a good thing.

Introducing the journal in which the paper is published will give your audience a rough idea of the prestige of the work.

And introducing the authors and their respective institutes gives your audience the option of stowing this information away and following it up with further reading in their own time.

Provide a Reason Why You Chose the Paper

Have the authors managed to circumvent sacrificing animals to achieve a goal that traditionally necessitated animal harm? Have the authors repurposed a method and applied it to a problem it’s not traditionally associated with? Is it simply a monumental feat of work and success?

People are probably more likely to listen and engage with you if they know why, in all politeness, you have chosen to use their time to talk about a given paper.

It also helps them focus on the relevant bits of your presentation and form cogent questions.

Orally Present Key Findings and Methods of the Paper

Simple. Read the paper. Understand it. Make some slides. Present.

Okay, there are a lot of ways you can get this wrong and make a hash of it. We’ll tell you how to avoid these pitfalls later on.

But for now, acknowledge that a journal club meeting starts with a presentation that sets up the main bit of it—the discussion.

Invite Your Audience to Participate in a Discussion

The discussion is the primary and arguably most beneficial component of journal club since it gives the audience a platform to share ideas. Ideas formulated by their previous experience.

And I’ve said already that these contributions are unique and have the potential to be valuable to your work.

That’s why the discussion element is important.

Their questions might concur and elaborate on the contents of the paper and your presentation of it.

Alternatively, they might disagree with the methods and/or conclusions. They might even disagree with your presentation of technical topics.

Try not to be daunted, however, as all of this ultimately adds to your knowledge, and it should all be conducted in a constructive spirit.

Summarize the Meeting and Thank Your Audience for Attending

There’s no particularly enlightening reason as to why to do these things. Summarizing helps people come away from the meeting feeling like it was a positive and rewarding thing to attend.

And thanking people for their time is a simple courtesy.

How Do You Organize It?

Basic steps if you are the organizer.

Okay, we’ve just learned what goes into speaking at the journal club. But presenter or not, the responsibility of organizing it might fall to you.

So, logistically , how do you prepare a journal club? Simply follow these 5 steps:

  • Distribute copies of the research article to potential participants.
  • Arrange a meeting time and location.
  • Organize a speaker.
  • Hold the journal club.
  • Seek feedback on the quality of the meeting.

Apart from point 5, these are fairly self-explanatory. Regarding point 5, feedback is essential to growing as a scientist and presenter. The easiest way to seek feedback is simply to ask.

Alternatively, you could create a form for all the meetings in the series and ask the audience to complete and return it to you.

Basic Steps If You Are the Speaker

If somebody has done all the logistics for you, great! Don’t get complacent, however.

Why not use the time to elevate your presentation to make your journal club contribution memorable and beneficial?

Don’t worry about the “hows” because we’re going to elaborate on these points, but here are 5 things you can do to ace your presentation:

  • Don’t leave it to the last minute.
  • Know your audience.
  • Keep your presentation slides simple.
  • Keep your audience engaged.
  • Be open to questions and critiques.

Regarding point 1, giving yourself sufficient time to thoroughly read the article you have chosen to present ensures you are familiar with the material in it. This is essential because you will be asked questions about it. A confident reply is the foundation of an enlightening discussion.

Regarding point 3, we’re going to tell you exactly how to prepare effective slides in its own section later. But if you are in a rush, minimize the use of excessive text. And if you provide background information, stick to diagrams that give an overview of results from previous work. Remember: a picture speaks louder than a thousand words.

Regarding point 4, engagement is critical. So carry out a practice run to make sure you are happy with the flow of your presentation and to give you an idea of your timing. It is important to stick to the time that is allotted for you.

This provides good practice for more formal conference settings where you will be stopped if you run over time. It’s also good manners and shows consideration for the attendees.

And regarding point 5, as the presenter, questions are likely to be directed toward you. So anticipate questions from the outset and prepare for the obvious ones to the best of your ability.

There’s a limit to everyone’s knowledge, but being unable to provide any sort of response will be embarrassing and make you seem unprepared.

Anticipate that people might also disagree with any definitions you make and even with your presentation of other people’s data. Whether or not you agree is a different matter, but present your reasons in a calm and professional manner.

If someone is rude, don’t rise to it and respond calmly and courteously. This shouldn’t happen too often, but we all have “those people” around us.

How Do You Choose a Journal Club Paper?

Consider the quality of the journal.

Just to be clear, I don’t mean the paper itself but the journal it’s published in.

An obscure journal is more likely to contain science that’s either boring, sloppy, wrong, or all three.

And people are giving up their time and hope to be stimulated. So oblige them!

Journal impact factor and rejection rate (the ratio of accepted to rejected articles) can help you decide whether a paper is worth discussing.

Consider the Impact and Scope of the Paper

Similar to the above, but remember, dross gets published in high-impact journals too. Hopefully, you’ve read the paper you want to present. But ask yourself what makes this particular paper stand out from the millions of others to be worth presenting.

Keep It Relevant and Keep It Interesting

When choosing a paper to present, keep your audience in mind. Choose something that is relevant to the particular group you are presenting to. If only you and a few other people understand the topic, it can come off as elitist.

How Do You Break Down and Present the Paper?

Know and provide the background material.

Before you dive into the data, spend a few minutes talking about the context of the paper. What did the authors know before they started this work? How did they formulate their hypothesis? Why did they choose to address it in this way?

You may want to reference an earlier paper from the same group if the paper represents a continuation of it, but keep it brief.

Try to explain how this paper tackles an unanswered question in the field.

Understand the Hypothesis and Methods of the Paper

Make a point of stating the  hypothesis  or  main question  of the paper, so everyone understands the goal of the study and has a foundation for the presentation and discussion.

Everyone needs to start on the same foot and remain on the same page as the meeting progresses.

Turn the Paper into a Progression of Scientific Questions

Present the data as a logical series of questions and answers. A well-written paper will already have done the hard work for you. It will be organized carefully so that each figure answers a specific question, and each new question builds on the answer from the previous figure.

If you’re having trouble grasping the flow of the paper, try writing up a brief outline of the main points. Try putting the experiments and conclusions in your own words, too.

Feel free to leave out parts of the figures that you think are unnecessary, or pull extra data from the supplemental figures if it will help you explain the paper better.

Ask Yourself Questions about the Paper Before You Present

We’ve touched on this already. This is to prepare you for any questions that are likely to be asked of you. When you read the paper, what bits didn’t you understand?

Simplify Unfamiliar and Difficult Concepts

Not everyone will be familiar with the same concepts. For example, most biologists will not have a rigorous definition of entropy committed to memory or know its units. The concept of entropy might crop up in a biophysics paper, however.

Put yourself in the audience’s shoes and anticipate what they might not fully understand given their respective backgrounds.

If you are unsure, ask them if they need a definition or include a short definition in your slides.

Sum Up Important Conclusions

After you’ve finished explaining the nitty-gritty details of the paper, conclude your presentation of the data with a list of significant findings.

Every conclusion will tie in directly to proving the major conclusion of the paper. It should be clear at this point how the data answers the main question.

How Do You Present a Journal Club Powerpoint?

Okay, so we’ve just gone through the steps required to break down a paper to present it effectively at journal club. But this needs to be paired with a PowerPoint presentation, and the two bridged orally by your talk. How do you ace this?

Provide Broad Context to the Research

We are all bogged down by minutia and reagents out of necessity.

Being bogged down is research. But it helps to come up for air. Ultimately, how will the research you are about to discuss benefit the Earth and its inhabitants when said research is translated into actual products?

Science can be for its own sake, but funded science rarely is. Reminding the journal club audience of the widest aims of the nominated field provides a clear starting point for the discussion and shows that you understand the efficacy of the research at its most basic level.

The Golden Rule: A Slide per Minute

Remember during lectures when the lecturer would open PowerPoint, and you would see, with dismay, that their slides went up to 90 or something daft? Then the last 20 get rushed through, but that’s what the exam question ends up being based on.

Don’t be that person!

A 10-15 minute talk should be accompanied by? 10-15 slides! Less is more.

Be Judicious about the Information You Choose to Present

If you are present everything in the paper, people might as well just read it in their own time, and we can call journal club off.

Try to abstract only the key findings. Sometimes technical data is necessary for what you are speaking about because their value affects the efficacy of the data and validity of the conclusions.

Most of the time, however, the exact experimental conditions can be left out and given on request. It’s good practice to put all the technical data that you anticipate being asked for in a few slides at the end of your talk.

Use your judgment.

Keep the Amount of Information per Slide Low for Clarity

Your audience is already listening to you and looking at the slides, so they have a limited capacity for what they can absorb. Overwhelming them with visual queues and talking to them will disengage them.

Have only a few clearly related images that apply directly to what you speaking about at the time. Annotate them with the only key facts from your talk and develop the bigger picture verbally.

This will be hard at first because you must be on the ball and confident with your subject area and speaking to an audience.

And definitely use circles, boxes, and arrows to highlight important parts of figures, and add a flowchart or diagram to explain an unfamiliar method.

Keep It Short Overall

The exact length of your meeting is up to you or the organizer. A 15-minute talk followed by a 30-minute discussion is about the right length, Add in tea and coffee and hellos, and you get to an hour.

We tend to speak at 125-150 words per minute. All these words should not be on your slides, however. So, commit a rough script to memory and rehearse it.

You’ll find that the main points you need to mention start to stand out and fall into place naturally. Plus, your slides will serve as visual queue cards.

How Do You Ask a Question in Journal Club?

A well-organized journal club will have clear expectations of whether or not questions should be asked only during the discussion, or whether interruptions during the presentation are allowed.

And I don’t mean literally how do you soliloquize, but rather how do you get an effective discussion going.

Presenters: Ask Questions to the Audience

We all know how it goes. “Any questions?” Silence.

Scientists, by their very nature, are usually introverted. Any ideas they might want to contribute to a discussion are typically outweighed by the fear of looking silly in front of their peers. Or they think everyone already knows the item they wish to contribute. Or don’t want to be publicly disproven. And so on.

Prepare some questions to ask the audience in advance. As soon as a few people speak, everyone tends to loosen up. Take advantage of this.

Audience: Think About Topics to Praise or Critique

Aside from seeking clarification on any unclear topics, you could ask questions on:

  • Does the data support the conclusions?
  • Are the conclusions relevant?
  • Are the methods valid?
  • What are the drawbacks and limitations of the conclusions?
  • Are there better methods to test the hypothesis?
  • How will the research be translated into real-world benefits?
  • Are there obvious follow-up experiments?
  • How well is the burden of proof met?
  • Is the data physiologically relevant?
  • Do you agree with the conclusions?

How to Keep It Fun

Make it interactive.

Quizzes and polls are a great way to do this! And QR codes make it really easy to do on-the-fly. Remember, scientists, are shy. So why not seek their participation in an anonymized form?

You could poll your audience on the quality of the work. You could make a fun quiz based on the material you’ve covered. You could do a live “what happened next?” You could even get your feedback this way. Here’s what to do:

  • Create your quiz or poll using Google forms .
  • Make a shareable link.
  • Paste the link into a free QR code generator .
  • Put the QR code in the appropriate bit of your talk.

Use Multimedia

Talking to your audience without anything to break it up is a guaranteed way of sending them all to sleep.

Consider embedding demonstration videos and animations in your talk. Or even just pausing to interject with your own anecdotes will keep everyone concentrated on you.

Keep It Informal

At the end of the day, we’re all scientists. Perhaps at different stages of our careers, but we’ve all had similar-ish trajectories. So there’s no need for haughtiness.

And research institutes are usually aggressively casual in terms of dress code, coffee breaks, and impromptu chats. Asking everyone to don a suit won’t add any value to a journal club.

Your Journal Club Toolkit in Summary

Anyone can read a paper, but the value lies in understanding it and applying it to your own research and thought process.

Remember, journal club is about extracting wisdom from your colleagues in the form of a discussion while disseminating wisdom to them in a digestible format.

Need some inspiration for your journal club? Check out the online repositories hosted by PNAS and NASPAG to get your juices flowing.

We’ve covered a lot of information, from parsing papers to organizational logistics, and effective presentation. So why not bookmark this page so you can come back to it all when it’s your turn to present?

While you’re here, why not ensure you’re always prepared for your next journal club and download bitesize bio’s free journal club checklist ?

And if you present at journal club and realize we’ve left something obvious out. Get in touch and let us know. We’ll add it to the article!

  • Linzer M et al . (1988) Impact of a medical journal club on house-staff reading habits, knowledge, and critical appraisal skills . JAMA 260 :2537–41

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Expert Consult

Journal Club: How to Build One and Why

By Michelle Sharp, MD; Hunter Young, MD, MHS

Published April 6, 2022

res360

Journal clubs are a longstanding tradition in residency training, dating back to William Osler in 1875. The original goal of the journal club in Osler’s day was to share expensive texts and to review literature as a group. Over time, the goals of journal clubs have evolved to include discussion and review of current literature and development of skills for evaluating medical literature. The ultimate goal of a journal club is to improve patient care by incorporating evidence into practice.

Why are journal clubs important?

In 2004, Alper et al . reported that it would take more than 600 hours per month to stay current with the medical literature. That leaves residents with less than 5 hours a day to eat, sleep, and care for patients if they want to stay current, and it’s simply impossible. Journal clubs offer the opportunity for residents to review the literature and stay current. Furthermore, Lee et al . showed that journal clubs improve residents’ critical appraisal of the literature.

How do you get started?

The first step to starting a journal club is to decide on the initial goal. A good initial goal is to lay the foundation for critical thinking skills using literature that is interesting to residents. An introductory lecture series or primer on study design is a valuable way to start the journal club experience. The goal of the primer is not for each resident to become a statistician, but rather to lay the foundation for understanding basic study designs and the strengths and weaknesses of each design.

The next step is to decide on the time, frequency, and duration of the journal club. This depends on the size of your residency program and leadership support. Our journal club at Johns Hopkins is scheduled monthly during the lunch hour instead of a noon conference lecture. It is essential to pick a time when most residents in your program will be available to attend and a frequency that is sustainable.

How do you get residents to come?

Generally, if you feed them, they will come. In a cross-sectional analysis of journal clubs in U.S. internal medicine residencies, Sidorov found that providing food was associated with long-lasting journal clubs. Factors associated with higher resident attendance were fewer house staff, mandatory attendance, formal teaching, and an independent journal club (separate from faculty journal clubs).

The design or format of your journal club is also a key factor for attendance. Not all residents will have time during each rotation to read the assigned article, but you want to encourage these residents to attend nonetheless. One way to engage all residents is to assign one or two residents to lead each journal club, with the goal of assigning every resident at least one journal club during the year. If possible, pick residents who are on lighter rotations, so they have more time outside of clinical duties to dissect the article. To enhance engagement, allow the assigned residents to pick an article on a topic that they find interesting.

Faculty leadership should collaborate with residents on article selection and dissection and preparation of the presentation. Start each journal club with a 10- to 20-minute presentation by the assigned residents to describe the article (as detailed below) to help residents who did not have time to read the article to participate.

What are the nuts and bolts of a journal club?

To prepare a successful journal club presentation, it helps for the structure of the presentation to mirror the structure of the article as follows:

Background: Start by briefly describing the background of the study, prior literature, and the question the paper was intended to address.

Methods: Review the paper’s methods, emphasizing the study design, analysis, and other key points that address the validity and generalizability of the results (e.g., participant selection, treatment of potential confounders, and other issues that are specific to each study design).

Results: Discuss the results, focusing on the paper’s tables and figures.

Discussion: Restate the research question, summarize the key findings, and focus on factors that can affect the validity of the findings. What are potential biases, confounders, and other issues that affect the validity or generalizability of the findings to clinical practice? The study results should also be discussed in the context of prior literature and current clinical practice. Addressing the questions that remain unanswered and potential next steps can also be useful.

Faculty participation: At our institution, the faculty sponsor meets with the assigned residents to address their questions about the paper and guide the development of the presentation, ensuring that the key points are addressed. Faculty sponsors also attend the journal club to answer questions, emphasize key elements of the paper, and facilitate the open discussion after the resident’s presentation.

How do you measure impact?

One way to evaluate your journal club is to assess the evidence-based practice skills of the residents before and after the implementation of the journal club with a tool such as the Berlin questionnaire — a validated 15-question survey that assesses evidence-based practice skills. You can also conduct a resident satisfaction survey to evaluate the residents’ perception of the implementation of the journal club and areas for improvement. Finally, you can develop a rubric for evaluation of the resident presenters in each journal club session, and allow faculty to provide feedback on critical assessment of the literature and presentation skills.

Journal clubs are a great tradition in medical training and continue to be a valued educational resource. Set your goal. Consider starting with a primer on study design. Engage and empower residents to be part of the journal club. Enlist faculty involvement for guidance and mentorship. Measure the impact.

Michelle Sharp, M.D.

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  • 10 Journal Club Tips: How to Run, Lead, and Present Like a Pro

Ten Tips for Scientific Journal Clubs: How to Organize, Lead, and Participate Well

journal club presentation

What is a journal club? A scientific journal club is a dedicated meeting where researchers gather to discuss publications from peer-reviewed journals. These meetings help researchers keep up with current findings, exercise their critical thinking skills, and improve their presentation and debate abilities.

Journal club formats vary depending on the preferences of organizers and participants. Online journal clubs organized using virtual meeting platforms (e.g. Zoom, Google Meets, Webex) are increasing in popularity with research labs and institutions.

In a well-run journal club, participants engage in lively discussions, while critically and honestly evaluating a study's strengths and weaknesses. They take away insights on what to do—and what not to do—in their own work. They feel inspired by new findings and walk away with ideas for their own research. On the contrary, ineffective journal clubs lack active participation. There may be a fear of openly voicing thoughts and opinions, or attendees may just be there for the free refreshments. In the end, the attendees take away nothing useful and think it's a waste of time. Whether you’re an organizer or a participant, follow these tips to run and lead a successful journal club, and to create engaging journal club presentations.

1. Make It a Routine

Schedule the journal club at a recurring time and location, so that it becomes a regular part of everyone's schedule. Choose a time that will be the least disruptive to everyone's experiments. Perhaps host it during lunchtime and invite people to eat while the presenter is speaking. Or perhaps host it in late afternoon with coffee and snacks provided.

We try and make the meeting times agreeable to most people and at times that are conducive to the work day of a grad student. We hold our journal clubs after seminars or presentations so it doesn’t interrupt experiments.

Shan Kasal, Graduate Student, The University of Chicago

2. Designate a Leader

A designated leader(s) who can take ownership of running the journal club will contribute tremendously to its success. The responsibilities of a leader may include organizing the journal club (see below) and facilitating the meeting (e.g., starting and ending meetings on time, making speaker introductions and announcements, and moderating discussions). Skilled journal club leaders make it safe for members to openly voice their thoughts and opinions. They work to generate excitement and encourage active participation. They also provide opportunities for members to join them in organizing and leading the journal club. Great leaders inspire personal and professional growth in others within their journal club community. Download this journal club preparation checklist to help you stay organized as a leader and ensure all necessary tasks are completed before each journal club meeting.

3. Get Organized

Staying organized is key to running a successful journal club. Here are some ways that can help you organize a journal club:

  • Set a consistent format and make sure members are aware of it.
  • Create and share schedules so participants know it's their turn to present, facilitate, pre-read, or provide refreshments.
  • Develop a communication rhythm to make sure announcements and reminders are sent out in a timely manner.
  • Provide guidelines and/or a template for presenters.
  • Bring attendance sheets to track member turnouts. Depending on the institute, keeping track of attendance can help with budget requests and approvals.
  • Provide feedback forms to the audience to help identify areas for improvement.

Journal Club Toolkit

Journal Club ToolKit

Get organized with these downloadable tools, including a journal club preparation checklist, attendance sheet template, presentation checklist, feedback form template, and presenter evaluation forms.

4. Pre-Read Papers

Pre-reading is a great way to ensure that you have sufficient background information to participate in journal club discussions. In an ideal world, everyone in the journal club will read the paper prior to the meeting. But due to the high demands of research , members may not have the time to pre-read before every single meeting. Journal club leaders can encourage pre-reading or even make it mandatory. Some journal clubs ask for different members to present different figures. Using this format, several individuals have to pre-read the paper and actively participate during each meeting. Other journal clubs designate one or two individuals, in addition to the presenter, to thoroughly pre-read the paper each week. The pre-readers are asked to help promote discussion by asking questions during the meetings. Organizers can set a schedule so that members know when it's their turn to pre-read.

5. Build a Community

You need to have students that are interested in the club in the first place, and I would also say, interested in hanging out with each other. Our journal club format is informal, which allows us to at least enjoy the company of each other.

Journal club organizers and leaders should aim to create a community where the members feel safe enough to share their thoughts and ask questions. Fostering community encourages active participation and the exchange of ideas, and can increase participant satisfaction and collaborations.

Successful journal clubs always come with food!!

Serena Chang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University

A great way to foster community is, simply, to serve food and drinks. Eating and drinking together can create a friendly, informal atmosphere conducive to open discussions, which will help encourage the flow of ideas and thoughts on the journal club paper. In addition, refreshments help to incentivize members to continue attending the journal club.

journal club presentation

Immunology Journal Club Sponsorship Contest

Enter for a chance to win a $500 USD sponsorship budget for your immunology journal club. Use it to fund food and drinks. Be a hero and win it for your journal club community.

6. Choose Relevant Papers

Consider the composition of your journal club community when choosing a paper. A journal club may have a broad group of researchers (e.g., a general immunology journal club), or it may only involve one or two labs specifically working on immune tolerance or a particular immune cell type. Papers discussed should be be on topics relevant to the participants’ research areas so that they remain interested.

We encourage people to select papers they are not already reading to try and expand our understanding of immunology and theirs. Too many times I feel like people select papers they already have read or will read and gain nothing from it, so there is no incentive to invest more.

As a busy researcher, the additional task of preparing for a journal club can feel like an extra burden. It’s easy to choose a paper that you are already reading for your research project. But choosing a paper that is outside of your research specialty can help you and others gain new perspectives and broaden your knowledge.

7. Make Engaging Presentations

You’ve likely suffered through boring lectures with text-heavy slides, or a monotonous presentation. How can this be avoided in your journal club?

I have a one page suggestion list of things to include in the presentation, including criticisms for the methods, hypothesis, whether the results are valid/strong enough to support the hypothesis, etc. This helps keep everyone on track.

As a journal club organizer or leader, you can provide presenters with a suggested list of presentation content and best practices:

  • Start with why. Capture everyone’s interest by sharing why you chose that paper or why the paper is important to discuss.
  • Prepare a concise presentation. Summarize only the key points of the paper. Include enough background information but avoid the urge to include every single detail. You can provide technical details when needed during the discussion period.
  • Simplify complex information. Create simple visual representations of complex ideas, pathways, or techniques to help your audience understand the information. Avoid writing out complex information in text-heavy slides that nobody will read.
  • Give it more space. Make your slides easier to read by avoiding having too much text in small fonts or too many figures on one slide. If a figure is too large, you can break it up into a few slides.
  • Include discussion starters. Instead of simply summarizing, include your thoughts and opinions on all aspects of the paper to initiate a discussion. What were the strengths and weaknesses? What questions did you have when reading the paper?

Download this journal club presentation checklist to help your presentation preparation.

8. Keep It Exciting

Break out of the routine once in a while to keep the journal club fresh and exciting. For example, you could invite external speakers to your journal club:

  • Invite a visiting scientist to present their work.
  • Ask a biotech company to present their technologies.
  • Find a speaker who can discuss scientific careers.
  • Ask a science communication expert to give tips.

9. Look for Ways to Improve

You’ve taken the first step towards improving your journal club by reading this article, but improvement is a continual process. What does your journal club community think? Perform regular audits of the journal club by asking for feedback every few months. Distribute feedback forms that attendees can fill out at the end of a journal club meeting. Download a journal club feedback form template > In addition to asking for feedback, pay attention to what happens during journal club meetings. Do members generally appear awake and engaged during presentations? Are you constantly running out of discussion time? You can gain a lot of insights by simply being observant in the meeting.

10. Make Time for It

Understandably, the demands of research can prevent you from making the choice to take on this additional task of leading or participating in a journal club. Adopt smart practices so you can use your time more efficiently. Working smart will help free up your time for other beneficial activities, including journal clubs. One of the ways to work smarter is to make the switch to more efficient technologies that can help you get your results in less time. For example, you can switch to a smarter way to isolate cells.

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5 Tips for Journal Club First-Timers

By Lucy Bauer

Monday, March 30, 2015

Research communities often uphold the ideal of scientific collaboration. But what does “collaboration” really mean? The picture that comes to mind can be people sitting, talking, and exchanging ideas that push toward the goal of creating better health. How can this exchange practically happen? One way is through a journal club. Recently, I had the privilege of presenting a journal article to my lab group’s journal club in the PAIN (Pain And Integrative Neuroscience) lab for  Dr. Catherine Bushnell . One goal of our lab is to look at the relationship and differences between itch and pain.

journal club presentation

Me explaining part of the spinal neuron pathway in itch

So, what is the purpose of a journal club?

A journal club is a regular gathering of scientists to discuss a scientific paper found in a research journal. One or two members of the club present a summary of the chosen paper that the whole group has read. Then, the discussion begins. Attendees ask clarifying questions, inquire about different aspects of the experimental design, critique the methods, and bring a healthy amount of skepticism (or praise) to the results.

For my first journal club at the NIH, we considered a paper that looks at how itch is mediated in the spinal cord from the skin up to the brain. The authors show that mice lacking a gene for a specific type of spinal neuron constantly scratch specific areas of their bodies corresponding to the missing spinal interneuron. When these mice receive a stem cell implant, a normal reaction to itch is restored. This paper generated much discussion about neuronal development, ethical considerations, and how the results relate to our research within the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

The ideas found and discussed at the journal club can help expand and balance each scientist’s scope of what is happening in the world of research while informing experimental plans and research directions. Here are five things I learned from my experience leading a journal club that can help you prepare to get the most out of your discussions:

1. Know the background material.

Prepare beforehand for your journal club presentation by knowing the research that has preceded and is related to the paper you will be presenting. This will make your discussion more informed and effective. Of course, it is likely impossible to know everything that would relate to your journal club presentation, but even a little bit of background information is helpful.

2. Make your presentation concise.

Every paper has many details about methods, results, discussion, future directions, etc. It is very helpful to give your audience the general flow of the entire paper and research before adding in all the details.

3. Simplify unfamiliar concepts.

Journal clubs often have members of varying backgrounds. Hence, not all concepts will be familiar to everyone in the group. It can be helpful to give a short summary of techniques and results. Detailed explanations can be provided later on, because the primary focus of presenting the paper should be giving an overview of the research.

4. Ask yourself questions about the paper before you present.

As the presenter, you may be the semi-“expert” on the paper, but as you get to know the research, you may discover some questions you have about the methods. Share with the group the questions you came across yourself and any answers you may have found to address them.

5. Ask specific questions to the members of the journal club.

When entering into discussion time, ask the group for their thoughts on specific topics found in the paper to create a starting point for conversation about the paper. Questions can be about methods, results, general ideas, and much more!

Journal clubs are great forums for the exchange of thoughts and ideas. Clubs held at the NIH are just one way through which necessary scientific discussion and collaboration can take place. Be sure to look into journal clubs happening near you!

If you’re at the NIH, the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) hosts  Summer Journal Clubs  that are ideal for trainees just getting their feet wet. And for our colleagues around the world, the NIH National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides an online platform to discuss journal articles in our connected world via the  PubMed Commons Journal Clubs .

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  • v.66(1); 2022 Jan

How to do a journal club, a seminar and a webinar?

Sadhana sanwatsarkar.

Department of Anaesthesiology, LNCT Medical College and Sewakunj Hospital, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Sanjeev Palta

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Satyen Parida

2 Department of Anaesthesiology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India

Chaitanya Kamat

3 Department of Anaesthesiology, JNMC, KAHER, Belgavi, Karnataka, India

H Bala Subramanya

4 Department of Anaesthesiology, VIMS, Ballari, Karnataka, India

The topics for postgraduate teaching-learning tools are Journal club in-house with one speaker and a moderator, Seminars- with multiple speakers and a co-ordinator, and Webinars- online seminars with one or multiple speakers choosing multiple mediums of communication. They largely affect the working mechanism of a clinician as they help us upgrade with the recent development in our fields. Making them interesting for us as well as our colleagues is necessary. This article presents a few facts as well as tips and tricks to compile the literature in a manner, which includes all the necessary points for better learning.

INTRODUCTION

With the evolution of science and technology, an update in the field of medicine occurs every second, hence, the clinicians must upgrade themselves. It becomes next to impossible for an individual to maintain the pace of being up-to-date with the literature by casual reading alone. In addition, a plethora of unimportant and misleading information also gets included in the literature. To continue with the evolution, incorporating various platforms to have discussions regarding the same is of absolute necessity. The numerous options included as the educational activities in the postgraduate (PG) teaching programmes include Journal Club discussions, Seminars and Webinars.[ 1 ]

A journal club, as defined by Mattingly, is a gathering of individuals that meet regularly to critically assess the advances in the scientific literature published in recent articles.[ 2 ] For a long time, the journal club has been a part of the PG study curriculum suggesting new ways to improve their clinical skills. It has been proved to be a versatile programme for its multidirectional and adaptable format to help the participants to develop cognitive skills. Journal clubs are usually organised around a definite subject in basic and or applied research. The presenter voices his/her insights relating to the aptness of the study design, the statistical analysis employed, and the appropriateness of the controls that were used.[ 1 ]

Another widely used active teaching-learning method incorporated in the PG curriculum is the seminars. A seminar is a type of small group teaching in which students play an important role. It is an instructional technique, which involves generating a situation for a group to have guided interaction among themselves on a theme. This help students in the development of their cognitive abilities such as the application of concepts and principles while preparing them for future research and faculty lectures. Compared to didactic lectures, effective seminars increase student engagement, retention of knowledge, self-directed learning, communication skills, and peer discussion. On a regular basis, there are two types of seminars conducted in medical colleges, mini-seminars which are conducted at a classroom level and major seminars which are conducted at the departmental or institutional level.[ 3 , 4 ] The coverage and scope of mini-seminars are small and simple. They are often reflected as group discussions. They improve the questioning skills of the students. A mini-seminar is necessary because it gives good experience to conduct a major seminar at institutional level.[ 3 , 4 ]

Apart from the journal clubs and the seminars, which have been commonly used in the past, there is also a necessity to include webinars as a medium of mass communication education. The concept of webinars is not new; however, there was a surge of webinars in the field of medicine with the announcement of the global pandemic as the annual conference meets were unacceptable. They have become a popular medium of dissipating knowledge and have been included in the curriculum in elite universities.[ 5 ]

With the rise in evidence-based practice through which practitioners judge the pieces of evidence and weigh their usability to bring a change in practice, it becomes indispensable to have journal club discussions, seminars and webinars at frequent levels to cultivate effective skills. Unfortunately, no standard guidelines are framed for their conduction by the governing body, which often confuses the students with their presentations. This article compiles history, steps and tips of presenting the same.

JOURNAL CLUB DISCUSSION

Evolution of journal club.

“Journal Club” was the term given by Dr James Paget in the year 1835. It was so named as the doctors of the St. Bartholomew's hospital, London, used to sit in a lounge and read the journals.[ 1 ] However, the introduction of journal club discussion happened later in the year 1875 when Sir William Osler first organised it at the University of Montreal, Canada for a distinct entity of Cushing's description with the purpose to subscribe and distribute periodicals.[ 1 ] Even so, Dr Erwin H. Ackerknecht, former Director of the Institute of the History of Medicine at Zurich, Switzerland had an opinion that Sir Osler heard about the ‘Journal Club’ from Germany. Dr Osler's journal club presentation was considered a huge success and was highly admired. As per Dr Cushing, Sir Osler later reported the success of the discussion in Baltimore, USA. His notes revealed that the first journal club presentation at John Hopkins was held on 29 th October 1889. Thereafter, the presentations were conducted weekly. In the years 1914-1947, every department in the institution had its journal club discussions. During the year 1926, Dr Scott Dudley Breckenridge was claimed to have started a journal club in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

As mentioned above, Dr Ackerknecht was impressed by the idea of this discussion. He claims it was a routine. The students in Zurich, Switzerland were supplied with articles in different languages. At the same time, a journal club presentation had commenced in Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York which was led by Dr Sidney Leibowitz in the year 1935. By the 1980s, it became mandatory for every medical institute to conduct journal club discussions at regular intervals. The era also noted the transition from face-to-face to online interactions. In the later years, the journals were available online instead of in a hard copy.[ 6 ] With the availability of the online platform, journal clubs have also begun on numerous social media apps such as Twitter. They are very beneficial for an individual who has completed his educational programme as they need not be associated with a medical institute for updates; nevertheless, the advancement from classrooms to laptops has been a boon for all medicos.

Goals of a journal club

Journal clubs have been an integral part of the medical education system since time unknown. They serve several purposes.

They help incorporate evidence-based clinical practice in day-to-day life, develop the skills of reading and analysing a situation critically, and increase exposure to rapidly evolving medical literature. They provide a unique opportunity to promote interest in research while learning from experts about knowledge gaps and future research questions.[ 6 ]

The adult learning principles can best be exercised in a journal club. It promotes group studying and contributes to developing a habit of continuously studying. It makes the task of studying easier.[ 7 ] Journal clubs also act as a motivating tool. In a systematic review by Honey et al. , it was concluded that there was a change in clinicians’ behaviour with the incorporation of journal clubs in their study programme.[ 6 ] It was also seen that the overall prognosis of the patient and treatment also improved significantly. It helps to tone the residents’ behaviour towards critically evaluating the decision-making. Furthermore, it also aids in their debating skills.[ 7 ]

Steps to conduct journal clubs

Journal clubs can be held at departments for PG students and faculty, and at various scientific meets for practitioners. Virtual online journal clubs are organised for a large audience from multiple institutions. Journal clubs should be presented by the second or third-year students as students get oriented to research methodology in the first year of post-graduation.

Choosing the journal club articles

Reputed peer-reviewed indexed articles with high impact factors and rejection rates are generally chosen. Any paper which appropriately presents relevant concepts, stating clearly why the study was done, what problem was being addressed, how the problem is attempted to be solved, with clear conclusions would make a good article.[ 8 ] Articles may be selected based on their clinical relevance and educational value. Original articles are suitable for improving critique skills, though metanalysis, case reports, review articles can also be great resources.

PGs must meet the chairperson of the journal club well in advance and take suggestions for the selection of the topic. It is better to select recent research papers, which are of importance and interest to the presenter and audience. Systematic reviews or theoretical articles should be avoided.

Analysis of the research paper

The abstract conveys the gist of the research and needs to be read assiduously.

First glance: The thoughts on first impression are to be noted down on a paper. Attention has to be paid to the tables and graphs as they convey more information. The article can then be re-read in detail later.

Second, detailed reading: One has to forage for details by asking specific questions in different sections of the article to assess whether the aim of the study correlates with the methods, discussion and conclusions.[ 9 ]

Introduction

While assessing the introduction part of the paper, one should check whether the authors have stated the scientific background, summarised the rationale for the study and mentioned a specific research question appropriate for the given type of study.[ 10 ]

The introduction should define specific objectives, hypotheses, primary and secondary outcome measures.

Methodology

The study design, type of intervention, inclusion and exclusion criteria, method of randomisation, type of blinding, the internal and external validity of the study should be checked. One should also analyse whether the information is enough to replicate the study.[ 11 ]

A search for bias, which can affect the results should also be made. Selection bias, information bias, any confounding variables and work-up or verification bias need to be looked for.

Ethical aspects, consent, timeline, detailed description of the analytic strategy, sample size calculation, statistical data analysis, P values and confidence intervals also deserve attention.

Results should parallel the objectives and methodology. Introducing new findings which the study was not designed for, reflects poor methodology. One should verify all questions in the methodology getting answered, the flow of participants through each stage, protocols and outcomes, baseline comparability demographics and clinical characteristics. The tables should reflect the matter intended and should be well presented.

Discussion and conclusion

Discussion should evaluate the robustness of the study and be relevant to the topic.[ 1 ] The author should enumerate the limitations of the study. It is important to assess whether authors rechecked and described any bias, confounding variables and the effects of a small sample size and measures taken to reduce their effects at the end of the discussion.

The conclusion should answer the research questions posed in the introduction.

References should be recent and relevant. Two or three cross-references are discussed to compare and contrast the research findings. One has to evaluate whether the article fits into the context of current literature.

Last review questions

One should recheck for the existence of any major flaws, like lack of scientific importance, originality, or validity. The strengths and weaknesses should be analysed. One should check the cost-effectiveness, clinical utility, generalisability across the population and whether the study changes the current practice in any way.

There are several steps for the actual presentation of the article in the journal club [ Table 1 ].

Steps for presentation in the journal club

Journal clubs have been linked to learning research and critique skills, promoting research awareness, professional empowerment, generating a positive research culture and evidence-based practice.[ 12 ] There are some mistakes commonly made in conducting journal clubs [ Table 2 ].

Common mistakes made while preparing a journal club

Planning of seminars

Selection of themes and topics.

In contrast to lectures, topics are less formally structured with more focus on extensive discussion. As seminars are recurring, in many of the institutions, topics for the seminars are prepared well in advance to facilitate in-depth study. Usually, topics from a cognitive domain that are not discussed or included in bedside clinics, case presentations, and journal clubs are selected for seminars. A seminar time-table with the names of the student and the moderator faculty should be prepared at the beginning of every academic year.

Allotting the topics and assigning PGs and moderators

Postgraduates are expected to prepare the presentations in PowerPoint or equivalent media under the guidance of the assigned moderator. Moderators will supervise, and ensure that resource material is available.

Timing of seminars

Ideally, a seminar lasts for one to two hours, depending on the number of presenters, the topic or theme chosen and it is recommended that these be held at least once a week. Further, every candidate must present at least four times a year and a total of twelve seminar presentations during their post-graduation period.[ 13 ]

How to make seminars work?

There are three phases involved in conducting a seminar.

Activities involved in the preliminary stages (Pre seminar phase)

These include the selection of the seminar theme and topic, finalisation of venue, date and time well in advance, preparation of a circular regarding the seminar and information without ambiguity about the content, and preparation of presentation material. The use of appropriate audio-visual aids is an important step in seminars. It reinforces lecture material and brings about understanding where words fail. Black lettering on a white background or white lettering on a blue background makes the slides effective. One idea per slide, one minute per slide, no more than six bullets per slide and no more than six words per bullet are effective forms of presentation.[ 14 ] Using only essential words rather than full sentences will reduce the number of lines without any loss of valuable information. Wherever possible, pictures, graphs, tables, diagrams or videos may be used to effectively convey the message.

Activities involved during the seminar (Seminar phase)

The presenter should make sure that the lighting, computers with audio-visual accessories, interactive smartboards, screen pointers and simple writing board are checked in advance. The seminar commences with the briefing by the moderator faculty. The speaker should speak clearly and address the audience. Notes may be used by the presenter to assist if necessary, but he/she should not read the talk. All the trainees are expected to come prepared and actively participate in the discussion and enter relevant details in their logbooks. At the end of the presentation, the moderator will ask questions and initiate the discussion and end the session with debriefing. Debriefing is essential because it maximises the learning, which includes summarising, and clarifying what has been learnt in that seminar.

Activities after the seminar (Post seminar phase)

These include evaluation of the seminar conducted, and providing feedback to the students.[ 3 , 15 ] Seminars should be evaluated by the moderator faculty using a checklist, which may carry weightage for internal assessment. There are parameters on which a seminar can be assessed, on a 5-point Likert scale [ Table 3 ].[ 13 ]

Parameters for evaluating the seminar

*(Poor -0, Below average -1, Average - 2, Good -3, Very good -4)

Providing feedback to students helps to close the gap between their current and desired performance, and has the greatest impact on learning. Feedback promotes learning by informing the student of their progress and the specific areas requiring improvement, in turn motivating the student to engage in relevant activities to further their learning.[ 3 ] The feedback model proposed by Pendleton et al .[ 16 ] may be very useful in this regard [ Figure 1 ].

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJA-66-27-g001.jpg

Feedback model for Seminar

The modified seminars (seminars in combination with role play, pre and post-test, quiz, and group discussion) have shown to be beneficial in developing the art of functioning as a team with peer coordination and trying innovation in learning.[ 17 ] Seminars are ideal methods for intensive in-depth learning of the subject. When the subject area is relevant to the theme and active resource persons are available, a seminar can be a very effective teaching-learning method.

Over the past one-two years, tons of webinars and virtual symposia have been fashioned, hosted and endorsed. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, webinars have become popular alternatives amongst PGs to regular departmental seminars, although the attendance rate is variable.[ 18 ]

What is the aim of a webinar?

A webinar is a term combined from “Web” and “Seminar”. Considering the busy schedules of our PGs as well as practising anaesthesiologists, the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (ISA) has been organising webinars almost every month in the past two years in sync with global trends and expecting complicity of its members.[ 19 ] Presently, with the trend of webinars on the rise, and their videos at one's fingertips online, it is easier, not only for PGs but also for private practising anaesthesiologists[ 20 ] to view them as per availability of time, facilitating academic pursuits. These videos also offer the convenience of pausing, rewinding and viewing multiple times. The demand for webinars is booming!

What are the steps to a successful webinar?

Determining the topic first up.

One should overcome the desire to put together the most extensive webinar comprehensible, regarding a popular theme. Ideally, one can zero down to an extremely pinpoint theme that can be dealt with appropriately. This ensures better focus on the theme and lessens the possibility of the webinar meandering pointlessly.[ 21 ]

Creating a presenter

One can create at least one depiction of the presenter for any live webinars one plans to oversee. Most webinar software will have a page for adding presenters where one could fill out their basic data.[ 22 ]

Planning out the constituents of the webinar

When one knows the topic and occasion of the online convention, it should not be hard to create a sketch of how it should be conducted. One could take into account the time frame one is ordinarily going to work with. The theme one comes up with, for the whole of the duration of the webinar, should be captivating enough to keep the participants until the end. One should always make sure to save some time in the end for question and answers.[ 23 ]

Selecting a webinar ware

Zoom of course probably has a larger user base, however, many other wares, including GoToWebinar, BigMarker, Adobe Connect, WebEx, ClickMeeting, Clirnet, Medflix and more are being used over the past two years.[ 24 ] Clirnet and Medflix are especially significant in this regard since they are exclusive medical platforms.

Sorting out the space and tools while recording presentation for a webinar

It is best to record the webinar presentation in a quiet room, free from outdoor noises and inconveniences. While one does not need to invest in a lot of gear, one should make sure to have access to the inbuilt computer camera, and an external unit for the microphone.[ 25 ] Pre-recording a presentation may allow one to edit out blunders, re-make portions that did not quite work, add effects, graphics and more, in post-production, and possibly feel less “dread of the stage”. However, this comes at the cost of lack of involvement of patrons, and less emotional response. For pre-recorded presentations, the speaker must be around to take any questions that may be posed during the session.

Deciding the time and date of the webinar

To decide the appropriate date and time of the webinar, one would want to study the geographical location of the patrons. One can utilise Google Analytics to determine where the target participants might be located, so that the choice of an agreeable time zone and date may be made.

Campaign tracking

Webinars are a marvellous knowledge spawning tool, but require that one plans well, and determines campaign tracking restrictions beforehand. In its most broad-ranging elucidation, campaign tracking is the technique of pinning down how visitors are led online to the website. Campaign tracking is used in Google Analytics to unambiguously track online browsers perceived as having an interest in the theme of the webinar, to the website, from campaigns produced by Google Ads, and also from other ad agencies. Some customisations of campaign tracking allow one to set whether future advertising referrals revoke previous referrals to the website, and these may be either in-built or paid.

Using a landline phone for internet

It is prescribed bearing in mind the use of wired broadband connection for internet connectivity. Any internet connection is liable to last-minute failure, and if it fails, the VoIP connection would be interrupted. It is always wise to have, as a preventive step, the option of connecting to the webinar through a landline.[ 23 ]

Going online with the webinar

When live streaming begins, one needs to make sure that the setting is such that one would not be discontinued, and no external noises are going to hold back the communication. A good way to do this is to inform people at one's home or office not to bother for a given period. One needs to be mindful of the background. This might involve shifting items around or covering them up to get a more appropriate ambience. But if this is not an option, one could use a green screen and have a virtual background. To pull off the best virtual background effect, one could use a high-contrast, solid-colour backdrop, ideally a green screen. Whatever one uses, one should go for a matt, non-reflective background. Further, webcams automatically record and adjust to the most dazzling source of light, and if that light is behind the speaker, he is no longer the focus. Therefore, one should avoid being backlit by making sure, one is facing toward, not away from, a window or another light source. While natural light works great, a bright, soft white light from the front, should work just as well. And finally, whether one is using a USB webcam or the built-in webcam on the laptop, one has to make sure that the camera lens sits at or above eye level, no higher than the hairline.

One should prepare a questionnaire for audience assessment. This could be used in the future to polish up further webinar ventures. One should come up with auxiliary information support for the audience to keep up the practice of helping, and guiding them.[ 25 ]

Seminars, webinars and journal clubs are great forums for the discussion of medical topics and ideas. They connect colleagues from all across the globe and allow global participation. They facilitate connections and help recognise voices. With the advancement in technology, the assurance of lifelong teaching as well as learning in formats, both within and outside academic walls is finally being fulfilled.

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Journal Club

Journal club presentation, free google slides theme and powerpoint template.

Are you a member of a journal club? A group of people gathers together to share their opinion and assess articles, publications or books on disciplines such as philosophy or science. If you want to promote the activities you do, or you're looking for new members, use this new template and tell everyone what they're missing out on! We've opted for a more modern design and an unusual combination of colors: gray and light green. Use the resources to provide more information.

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The Scientific Hypothesis

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How to Give a Great Journal Club Presentation

A lot of advanced science education takes place in the more-or-less formal setting of a journal club where one member of a group presents a paper from the scientific literature to the whole group. giving a good presentation is a learned skill; here are some tips on how to do it well..

  • Pick a good paper. (Don’t get all neurotic about this. If you find it interesting and significant, then it will almost certainly benefit your group. If you’re in doubt, ask a colleague or mentor.) Read it. Two or three times. Skimming quickly may be enough to tell you whether or not there is something to it, but getting down to the level of detail that you’ll want to have under control for the actual presentation can easily take more time and effort than you first think it will. Is it clearly written and understandable? If you find it too difficult, or poorly written to get the message, chances are that others will struggle too. You might want to pick a different paper.
  • Ask yourself why the authors did the research.  What did they hope to learn?  The abstract and conclusion of a paper generally express the essence of the work.  Read them carefully even before going over the rest of the paper in depth. It often helps you to figure out the big picture, especially when the authors seem to take it for granted that all readers will see what it is. Authors often start off by saying that some subject, X, “is not well-understood.”  Well, of course it’s not!  That’s why they got a paper out of studying X.  The statement usually just gives you a general idea of what the about and is only rarely the level of information that you want.  
  • Find the hypothesis in the paper; most have one, but a great many papers that are based on hypotheses don’t say so explicitly (BTW, some authors say they’re testing a “model;” occasionally they are referring to an “animal model” such as a mouse, but usually a model that’s being tested is the same as a hypothesis). 
  • The most important thing for your audience is to trace the logical flow of the paper. How do the experiments in the paper test the hypothesis? Is each result truly relevant to the hypothesis: that is, does it support or contradict it, or is it irrelevant to the truth of the hypothesis (this is more common than you might think)? 
  • With practice you can make a smooth and informative narrative out of any average paper.  When transitioning from one figure to the next, avoid the trite and deadly-boring phrase “… and then they wanted to look at…” The authors certainly had a reason for “wanting to look at” whatever they looked at. Tell the audience what it was!  Why did they do what the authors did and why that experiment followed at that point.  What did they learn by doing it? 
  • Be able to go over the important figures, tables or other displayed items in enough detail to make the main point(s) clear.
  • You should understand the methods used by the authors well enough to explain them generally to a group, and say why the authors chose them. You are not expected to become a technical expert in the field represented by the paper, however. Be aware of notable advantages and limitations of the methods in case questions about them arise.
  • Try to anticipate the kinds of questions that may come up, but if you can’t answer one, it is perfectly ok to say, “I don’t know.” We’ve all been there.  Maybe someone else in the group does know, in any case an honest statement of ignorance is preferable than trying to fake it. 
  • You must be scrupulously fair to the authors, but you are not their advocate; your job is to discuss their paper in a critical and insightful way.  After presenting their reasoning and results as the authors would want them to be presented, feel free to point out shortcomings if you disagree with them or think that they have made a mistake in reasoning, execution, etc..  But be a bit cautious:  if you think that the authors made a bone-headed error, try extra hard to understand what they were doing.  It is possible that they did err somehow, but it is possible that you’ve missed something.  Hopefully, your audience will be engaged and following right along and they will raise critical questions as well. It is important to keep in mind that an attack on the paper is not an attack on you!  Your reputation is not on the line here, the authors’ reputations are.  Of course, if you wind up completely trashing the paper, it may appear that you didn’t follow rule number 1.
  • Be aware that you may be the only person in the room who has actually read the paper.  You are the authority on it.  A common mistake is to assume that everyone else already knows full well what you just spent a week learning; after all, they showed up expecting to be enlightened.  There might be one or two experts in the audience, but you should assume that most people aren’t experts. And even experts are rarely offended by hearing a concise review of the basics: they know full well that the audience needs it. So don’t assume too much and do give enough detail. Your main task is to educate your colleagues about a piece of work that you think is interesting and valuable.  
  • Plan to finalize your talk at least a day or so in advance. Practice going through the slides out loud (ideally with a couple of friends), indicating the major points of each one, but do not try to memorize or read your talk! It’s nice to know your transition to the next slide, but if you forget it, don’t panic – just advance the slide and pick up from there. (Some people like to have a card with a few notes on it as a security blanket in case of a public brain freeze.  Ordinarily, having a card handy is enough to guarantee that they won’t need it.)
  • On the day of the talk show up early, get into the room, get your presentation loaded. and flip through the slides in advance.  Every experienced presenter has nightmare stories of last minute computer crashes, software incompatibilities, missing pointers, unfamiliar set-ups. These problems are not fun, and not what you want to have to cope with after you’ve been introduced. If you find a glitch during your run-through, you’ll have time to fix it.

1 thought on “ How to Give a Great Journal Club Presentation ”

I have encouraged students to study Brad’s tips on giving a great journal club presentation for 20 years. I plan to continue doing so!

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Local News | Lorain Lions Club to host dinner Jan. 4 with…

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Local News | Lorain Lions Club to host dinner Jan. 4 with presentation from county Board of Elections director

Paul Adams, director of the Lorain County Board of Elections, shows the latest machine used for checking voters in to cast ballots. (Morning Journal file)

The Lorain Lions Club will host a dinner Jan. 4 with keynote speaker Paul Adams, executive director of the Lorain County Board of Elections.

The meeting and dinner will take place at Rebman’s On the Avenue, 5300 Oberlin Ave., Lorain, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the meal served at 6  p.m., according to a news release from Mitchell J. Fallis, press secretary for the Lorain Lions Club.

Adams will begin his presentation on the operations of the Lorain County Board of Elections and local election procedures at 6:30 p.m.

“Paul is an excellent speaker,” said Fallis, who’s known Adams for nearly 20 years.

Adams and Fallis worked together years ago at the South Lorain Community Development Corporation, Fallis also noted.

“He has a very, very good understanding of elections and the process and the rules on election law and what needs to be done and what can not happen in order for elections to run appropriately,” Fallis said. “We’re looking forward to his presentation.”

The public is invited to attend the event.

For reservations, contact Lorain Lions member Bruce McCartney at 440-371-6987.

The Lorain Lions Club is comprised of service-minded men and women who strive to make a difference by meeting people’s needs in the greater Lorain community, the release stated.

“Around the world, Lions are serving their neighborhoods and beyond while focusing on the eight global causes of: vision, hunger, environment, childhood cancer, humanitarian, youth, disaster relief and diabetes,” the release stated.

The Lions Clubs International motto is “We Serve,” and the Lorain Lions Club has lived up to it, Fallis said.

For 101 years, the Lorain Lions Club has raised funds to purchase eyeglasses for local children in need.

The Lions Clubs International is the largest membership-based service organization in the world.

There are 1.4 million members in more than 49,000 clubs, serving in over 200 countries globally, the release also noted.

“Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives, improve health and well-being, strengthened local communities, support those in need through hands-on humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally and encourage peace and international understanding,” the release stated.

For information about Lions Clubs International, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

The Lorain Lions Club is comprised of 45 men and women members who meet at 5:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month and at noon on the second and third Thursdays of the month at Rebman’s On the Avenue.

Club meetings include dinner followed by club business and a guest speaker.

The Lorain Lions Club was chartered Oct. 12, 1922.

The club’s goals include raising funds to donate to those in financial need for eyesight and hearing expenses and to fund educational scholarships, the release stated.

Those interested can visit  at Lorain Lions on Facebook or contact us by email at [email protected] or by mail at Lorain Lions Club, P.O. Box 298, Lorain, Ohio 44052.

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Neurosyphilis in the modern era: Literature review and case series

Affiliations.

  • 1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Fundamental Medicine, Moscow, Russia; Bujanov Moscow City Clinical Hospital, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2 Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Moscow, Russia; Bujanov Moscow City Clinical Hospital, Moscow, Russia. Electronic address: [email protected].
  • 3 Bujanov Moscow City Clinical Hospital, Moscow, Russia.
  • 4 Moscow Scientific and Practical Center for Dermatology, Venerology and Cosmetology, Moscow Healthcare Department, Russia.
  • 5 Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Moscow, Russia; Bujanov Moscow City Clinical Hospital, Moscow, Russia; Moscow Research and Clinical Center for Neuropsychiatry, Moscow Healthcare Department, Russia.
  • 6 Moscow Research and Clinical Center for Neuropsychiatry, Moscow Healthcare Department, Russia; Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia.
  • PMID: 31427238
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2019.08.033

The term of neurosyphilis (NS) refers to infection of central nervous system by Treponema pallidum. Classically, it has been divided into early (meningitis, meningovascular) and late forms (general paresis and tabes dorsalis). The availability of penicillin and high sensitivity of Treponema pallidum to this antibiotic has led to a widely held perception about rarity of syphilitic forms with central nervous system involvement. However, patient can exhibit atypical clinical presentation. Recently different clinical cases with autoimmune encephalitis-mimicking presentation or atypical movement disorders were described. In this article we presented clinical case series with different clinical and MRI presentation and discuss diagnostic and treatment challenges. During our screening period at neurological department we revealed 6 NS cases. Three of them have an atypical presentation. The first patient was misdiagnosed as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, the second patient had hippocampal sclerosis and epileptic seizures. Another patient had cognitive decline and autoimmune encephalitis-like MRI lesions. We put an emphasis on widening of indication for lumbar puncture and NS tests in patients with syphilitic anamnesis and neurological manifestations.

Keywords: Atypical cases; CSF tests; MRI; Neurosyphilis.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosyphilis / complications
  • Neurosyphilis / diagnosis*
  • Neurosyphilis / drug therapy
  • Treponema pallidum
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents

Kidney Diseases

Historical Aspects

Development of nephrology in russia, current problems, conclusions, acknowledgments, statement of ethics, disclosure statement, history, current advances, problems, and pitfalls of nephrology in russia.

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Elena Zakharova; History, Current Advances, Problems, and Pitfalls of Nephrology in Russia. Kidney Dis 15 November 2018; 4 (4): 238–245. https://doi.org/10.1159/000492634

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Background: The anatomy and physiology of kidneys as well as kidney diseases have been studied in Russia since the 18th century. However, there was a surge in interest in the 1920s, with numerous researchers and clinicians making substantial advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology, pathology, and diagnostics of kidney diseases. The field of nephrology as clinical practice can be traced back to 1957–1958, when the first beds for patients with kidney diseases became available and the first hemodialysis procedure was performed. Nephrology and hemodialysis units were opened soon after, offering kidney biopsy, corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapies, and dialysis for acute renal failure and end stage of renal disease. In 1965 kidney transplantation commenced. Between 1970 and 1990, the number of centers providing care for patients with kidney diseases increased; however, they were insufficient to meet the demands of native kidney disorders and renal replacement therapy. To address this, several educational institutions established postgraduate programs in nephrology and dialysis, and professional societies and journals were funded. While economic changes at the end of the 1990s resulted in a rapid increase of dialysis service, kidney transplantation and pathology-based diagnostics of kidney diseases remained underdeveloped. During the last 2 decades cooperation among international professional societies, continuing medical education courses, and the translation and implementation of international guidelines have resulted in substantial improvements in the quality of care provided to patients with kidney diseases. Summary: We describe the history and development of clinical nephrology, dialysis, kidney transplantation, education in nephrology and dialysis, professional societies and journals, and registry of patients on renal replacement therapy in Russia during almost 60 years. We also present the most recent registry data analysis, address current problems and difficulties, and stress the role of incorporation into the international nephrology community. Key Message: Nephrology in Russia, despite currently experiencing many difficulties, made great advances during the 60 years of its development. General nephrology, nephropathology, and renal replacement therapy are developing fast; implementation of international guidelines, access to modern educational tools, and cooperation with international professional societies are improving the quality of care of renal patients and ensuring further progress.

Russian scientists have been interested in the anatomy and physiology of kidneys as well as kidney diseases since the 18th century. Professor Shumlansky investigated renal anatomy and defended his thesis entitled “De structura renum: Tractatus physiologicoanatomicus” in 1776; the paper was republished in Strasburg in 1788 [ 1 ]. In 1853 Professor Polunin [ 2 ] described acute renal failure in patients with cholera, and Professor Zakharyin [ 3 ] published his paper entitled “Association between protein-containing urine and convulsions in pregnant women,” which was one of the first descriptions of eclampsia. Professor Bogolybov [ 4 ] defended his PhD thesis entitled “Renal pathology of parenchymal inflammation (Bright’s disease)” in 1862, and in 1876 Professor Stolnykov [ 5 ] designed the quantitative method to detect protein levels in the urine. He also studied hemoglobinuria [ 6 ], and he published the association between renal ischemia and left ventricular hypertrophy in 1880 [ 7 ]. In 1882, Professor Ivanovsky [ 8 ] published his paper entitled “Bacterial inflammation of kidneys as a consequence of erysipelas.”

The first widely recognized historical case of kidney disease in Russia was the illness of Czar Alexander III, who suffered from severe edema, ascites, itching, dyspnea, and hemoptysis. His urinalysis showed the presence of proteins and casts, and he was diagnosed with “chronic interstitial inflammation of kidneys” and died from pulmonary edema on October 20, 1894. Among the attending doctors of Czar Alexander III during his last fatal illness were Professor Ernst Viktor von Leyden from Germany and Professor Grigory Zakharyin [ 9 ].

The most important achievement in the field of kidney diseases in 19th century Russia was the first model of nephrotoxic nephritis, developed by Professor Lindemann while working in Professor Mechnikov’s laboratory. Lindemann [ 10 ] published his research entitled “Sur le mode d’action de certains poisons renaux” in the Annals of Institute Pasteur in 1900, in which he demonstrated the nephrotoxicity of heterologous anti-kidney sera in experimental animals. This model remains the most widely used animal model of crescentic glomerulonephritis.

The next phase of research commenced in the 1920s. In 1921, Professor Zymnitsky [ 11 ] implemented a simple kidney function test, based on the relative density of urine, which was known as the modified Volhard test. In 1929, Professor Tareev [ 12 ] published his book entitled “Anemia in Bright’s disease.” He later published several monographs, summarizing his clinical experience, and highlighting the most important issues of pathophysiology, pathology, and clinical presentation of kidney diseases: “Kidneys and the Body” (1932), “Hypoproteinemic syndrome” (1933), “Kidney diseases” (1936), “Nephritis” (1958), “Fundamentals of Nephrology” (1972) [ 13-17 ], and many others, all of which became handbooks for several generations of nephrologists. In 1950, Professor Lang [ 18 ] published the monograph “Hypertensive disease,” in which he stressed the role of essential hypertension in kidney damage. In 1963, Professor Gynetsynsky [ 19 ] published “Physiological mechanisms of water-electrolyte balance,” where he described the details of water reabsorption in the distal nephron.

General Nephrology

Nephrology as a field of medical practice started its development in Russia (which was then the Soviet Union) in 1957. An initiative of Professor Woffsy, one of the most recognized internists, introduced the first beds for patients with kidney diseases in the internal diseases unit of Moscow City Hospital No. 52 [ 20 ]. Professor Ratner, who as a resident studied internal medicine with Professor Lang in the then Leningrad (now known as Saint Petersburg), was invited to manage the patients and played a leading role during the fledging years of nephrology in Russia. Under her direction the nephrology beds transformed into the first nephrology unit in 1964, and in the same year, the first kidney biopsy in the Soviet Union was performed in the unit. Professor Ratner was also the first to successfully use corticosteroids to treat glomerulonephritis at the end of 1950s. The patient was a child with severe nephrotic syndrome. Immunosuppressants were first used by the initiative of Professor Tareev in 1959, and in 1961, Professors Woffsy and Ratner [ 21 ] published a paper entitled “Corticosteroid therapy of glomerulonephritis” in the Annals of Academy of Medical Science.

The first pediatric nephrology unit at the National Medical Research Center of Children’s Health (the Research Institute of Pediatrics) was opened in 1965 by the initiative of Professor Studenikin, again headed by Professor Ratner. In 1970, Professor Veltischev started the division of inherited and acquired kidney diseases in the Research Clinical Institute of Pediatrics (which was then the Research Institute of Pediatrics and Children’s Surgery), headed by Professor Ignatova till 2006 [ 22 ].

The second nephrology unit opened in Moscow City Hospital No. 52 in 1971, followed soon after with nephrology units opened in Moscow City Hospital No. 24 and the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin (first headed by Dr. Alexander Lokshin). Other hospitals in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and most big cities used the Moscow City Hospital No. 52 experience as a model when opening their respective units.

Professor Ratner was active as the leader of the rapidly growing renal service in Moscow until the end of 1980s. Her main interests were glomerulonephritis, transplanted kidney issues, and tubulointerstitial disorders, on which along with Professors Serov and Tomilina, she published a book entitled “Renal dysfunctions” in 1977 [ 23 ]. She also established a school of clinical nephrology, which is currently headed by Professor Tomilina.

In 1993 Professor Tomilina initiated the merging of two nephrology units – one for patients with native kidney diseases and the other for recipients of transplanted kidney – with the dialysis and outpatient units to create the Moscow City Nephrology Center, based in Moscow City Hospital No. 52. In 1998, the first intensive care unit for patients with kidney diseases opened in this center. The Moscow City Nephrology Center provides high-quality care for patients with any type of native and transplanted kidney diseases, not only to Moscow citizens, but also to referred patients. Professor Tomilina [ 24 ] recently summarized her clinical experience and published a monograph entitled “Selected Chapters in Nephrology.” The nephrology unit of the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin also became a tertiary referral center at the beginning of 2000. The main priority of both centers is kidney biopsy with high-quality pathology diagnostics for a wide range of renal diseases. The nephropathology unit, which performs kidney biopsy readings for a vast majority of the population in Moscow, the surrounding area, and referred patients from other regions, is actually part of the Moscow City Nephrology Center.

Leading the intense development of clinical and research nephrology in Leningrad were Professor Ryabov, Professor Stavskaya, Dr. Jdanova, and Professor Bagrov – the successor of Professor Gynetsynsky, representing the Novosibirsk physiology school. For almost 50 years Professor Bagrov worked in the field of renal physiology and pathophysiology in close association with clinical practice. His monograph entitled “Water-electrolyte balance in Heart Failure” was published in 1984 [ 25 ]. A complex nephrology service, including the first outpatient unit for patients with kidney diseases, was organized in Leningrad in 1977 by Professor Ryabov. In 2003, several outpatient nephrology units in Saint Petersburg were merged under Professor Komandenko, and in 2008, the Saint Petersburg City Nephrology Center was opened. Currently, there are many nephrology units in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other big cities actively treating patients with glomerulonephritis, systemic diseases, diabetes, amyloidosis, chronic kidney disease (CKD) complications, and even orphan diseases such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, Fabry disease, and cystinosis.

Unfortunately, the exact disease spectrum for CKD is not known, because general statistics, based on the main diagnosis only, does not represent CKD epidemiology. However, the database of the nephrology unit of the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin provides some information and gives an impression of the disease spectrum. Table 1 represents unpublished data analysis.

Spectrum of CKD causes

Spectrum of CKD causes

The care and management of CKD include (1) CKD diagnostics and stratification; (2) monitoring of proteinuria, eGFR, and blood pressure; (3) treatment of underlying kidney diseases and measures for prevention of CKD progression; and (4) diagnostics, evaluation, and treatment of anemia, metabolic bone disease, cardiovascular complications, etc. Nephroprotection strategies, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, iron supplementation, and phosphate binders are widely used. Diagnostic approaches and treatment of glomerulonephritis, including use of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants (cyclophosphamide, calcineurin inhibitors, mycophenolates, rituximab), and plasmapheresis are in agreement with international and national guidelines.

Of note, the International KDIGO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease – Mineral and Bone Disorder; for Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease; for Lipid Management in Chronic Kidney Disease; for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease; and for Glomerulonephritis were translated to Russian and widely implemented [ 26-30 ]. The translation of KDIGO 2017 Clinical Practice Guideline Update for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease – Mineral and Bone Disorder is currently in progress.

Hemodialysis (HD) techniques, invented and developed in western countries, immediately raised great interest in the Soviet Union. The first paper presenting an international experience of “artificial kidney” use was published by Dr. Parin [ 31 ] in 1955. The first Soviet “Artificial Kidney Apparatus” (AKA-60) was invented in 1957 by Yury Kozlov and his colleagues in the Research Institute of Experimental Surgical Technologies; production of the AKA-60 commenced in the Factory of Medical Equipment in Kazan [ 32 ].

In 1958, the first HD procedure using the Moeller dialysis machine was performed by Professors Pytel, Lopatkin, and Djavadzade at the University Clinic of Russian National Research Medical University n.a. N.I. Pyrogov (then the 2nd Moscow Medical Institute), based in Moscow City Hospital No. 1. Professor Pytel, a recognized urologist, was specifically interested in nephrology and had already studied crush syndrome and hepatorenal syndrome. In 1961, he published a monograph entitled “Artificial kidney and its clinical usage”, which was the first Russian monograph in the field [ 33 ].

Between 1958 and 1960 four “Experimental renal laboratories” for the treatment of patients with acute renal failure (ARF) opened: one in the Hematology Research Center (then the Research Institute of Blood Transfusion), one in Moscow Hospital No. 1, one in the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin, and one in the 1st Moscow Medical University n.a. I.M. Sechenov (then the 1st Moscow Medical Institute). In 1960, the department of HD for patients with ARF, working in cooperation with the “Laboratory of Artificial Kidney” headed by Professor Gert Kulakov, was opened in the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin. It was headed by Dr. Melikyan, who was one of the pioneers of HD in Russia and worked actively for 4 decades.

The year 1962 saw the first ever procedure not using donor blood with AKA-60 [ 34 ]. In 1964, the modified AKA-140 was invented, with production starting in Leningrad in 1969. HD was primarily used for the treatment of ARF in the setting of obstetric and surgical complications, poisoning, Hanta virus hemorrhagic fever, and crush syndrome. By 1971 more than 50 HD centers, equipped with AKA machines were successfully implemented throughout the Soviet Union. This allowed the expansion of indications for HD to chronic renal failure. The first dialysis unit for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was started in Moscow City Hospital No. 24 in 1967.

In 1963, the first pediatric patient, a 3-year-old child, was treated with HD. The first pediatric HD unit for the treatment of children with ARF was established in 1976 in the St. Vladimir Children’s Hospital (then the Children’s Hospital n.a. I.V. Rusakov), headed by Dr. Zverev. It was the only such unit in the country for many years, and later became the first center for children with hemolytic uremic syndrome; in 1991 peritoneal dialysis (PD) was successfully performed for the first time in Russia at this center.

Between 1971 and 1973 Hemodialysis System 6 (SHD-6) was invented by Professor Kulakov and engineer Balabanov. The new model of HD machine enabled HD procedures to be performed on 6 patients simultaneously [ 32 ]. The first two machines were introduced in 1974 in the “Laboratory of Artificial Kidney” in the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin. Later, the SHD-8 replaced the SHD-6 and was introduced to clinical practice in many cities. In 1976, the first arteriovenous fistula was placed by Dr. Timokhov and Dr. Melikyan at the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin, with arteriovenous fistula swiftly replacing shunts as the standard dialysis access technique in most HD units for ESRD patients soon after. The nephrology service in Leningrad first included HD units, working in cooperation with clinical nephrology and outpatient units; Professor Shostka coordinated this work.

During the next 2 decades, the number of HD units increased; however, they were insufficient to meet the demands of dialysis care for the ESRD patients. The biggest challenge for the dialysis service was the Spitak (Armenia) earthquake in 1988. At least 400 earthquake victims developed crush syndrome, and many of them with ARF were treated with HD. Most victims were evacuated from Armenia to Moscow and other major cities.

The economic changes following the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the substantial growth of dialysis care services. Unfortunately, this growth was not accompanied by the development of dialysis machine production, and now only imported equipment is used in the Russian Federation. While many intensive care units were equipped with dialysis machines that performed HD and continuous hemodiafiltration, the PD program for adult patients was started in 1995 to improve dialysis services; the first three units were opened in the Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52, Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin, and Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 7, followed by Mariinskaya City Hospital, Saint Petersburg, and later in the other big cities. The PD unit of Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52 is actually the biggest in the Russian Federation.

In 2002, the Ministry of Health issued an order regarding “Excellence of Organization of Dialysis Care,” whereby public-private partnership implementation resulted in a rapid increase in the HD outpatient units. The International KDIGO and ERBP Guidelines concerning CKD and acute kidney injury were translated to Russian and widely implemented [ 30, 35, 36 ].

Evaluation of the disease spectrum of ESRD is based on the data from the Registry of patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT), started by the Russian Dialysis Society in 1998. The available individual data analysis is shown in Table 2 [ 37 ].

Causes of ESRD in patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis

Causes of ESRD in patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis

The evaluation and management of patients receiving RRT include monitoring of dialysis dose and key quality indicators, blood pressure, body mass index, serum albumin, hemoglobin, total cholesterol, total calcium, serum phosphates, and parathyroid hormone. Comorbidities, treatment patterns, mortality, and survival are also evaluated on a regular basis. Patients on RRT receive antihypertensive medications, iron supplementation, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, phosphate binders, and calcimimetics.

Transplantation

The first kidney transplantation from a deceased donor was performed by Dr. Voronoy in 1933 in Kherson (now a territory of Ukraine). While the procedure was not successful, the first ever attempt, published in 1936, enabled further developments [ 38 ]. The first successful kidney transplantation from a living donor, in this case a relative, was performed by Professor Petrovsky at the Russian Research Center of Surgery in 1965. In 1967, the National Medical Research Center of Transplantology and Artificial Organs n.a. V.I. Shumakov (then the Research Institute of Organ and Tissue Transplantation, first headed by Professor Solovyov) was created by Professor Petrovsky. Professor Petrovsky, along with Professor Solovyov and his group, published a book entitled “Kidney transplantation” in 1969 [ 39 ], when the program of kidney transplantation from deceased donors was initiated and widely implemented by Professor Shumakov, who headed the Research Institute of Organ and Tissue Transplantation for more than 30 years since 1974. The number of centers performing kidney transplantation exclusively from deceased donors increased over the next 2 decades. Professor Phyliptsev played a leading role in the implementation of kidney transplantation for almost 3 decades. In 1990, the first center for pediatric kidney transplantation was opened in the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital.

In 1992, the federal legislation regarding “transplantation of organs and/or tissues” was introduced, whereby only direct relatives are allowed to donate kidneys for transplantation. Several regulatory documents have been released since the order addressing “regalement of brain death diagnostics” (2014). The program of kidney transplantation from living donors commenced in 1999 in the National Medical Research Center of Transplantology and Artificial Organs, headed by Professor Moysuk, who summarized the experience of the first 2 years in the article “Kidney transplantation from living relative donor” [ 40 ].

The first Department of Nephrology came from the Department of Internal and Occupational Diseases of the 1st Moscow Medical University n.a. I.M Sechenov (formerly known as the Faculty of Medicine of Imperator’s Moscow University, created in 1755), which started in 1930 and was headed by Professor Tareev from 1950. Under his leadership, nephrology became one of the main priorities, and in 1966 the Clinic of Nephrology, Internal and Occupational Diseases opened, merging the Department of Nephrology, the Department of Internal and Occupational Diseases, and the Nephrology and HD units. Between 1986 and 2017, the head of the Clinic of Nephrology was Professor Mukhin. In 1972, Professor Tareev initiated the Laboratory of Nephrology Problems, which was headed by his daughter, Professor Tareeva, from 1975 [ 41 ].

An educational course on hemodialysis at the Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Postgraduate Education (formerly the Central Institute of Medical Qualification, created in 1930) was initiated by Professor Kulakov in 1965, based at the “Laboratory of Artificial Kidney”. In 1982, this educational course developed into the first Department of Nephrology and Hemodialysis, headed by Professor Kulakov [ 32 ]. The Department was, and still is, based in the Moscow City Hospital n.a. S.P. Botkin; the close relationships between academia and clinical practice ensured the development of the field. Currently the Department is headed by Professor Ermolenko, one of the opinion leaders in the field, whose monograph entitled “Chronic Hemodialysis” was published in 1982 [ 42 ].

In 1996, the Research Institute of Nephrology was created at the 1st Saint Petersburg Medical University n.a. I.P. Pavlov (formerly the Women’s Medical Institute, and later the 1st Leningrad Medical Institute), with Professor Ryabov as the first director. The Institute of Nephrology merged the Course of Nephrology and Dialysis (later the Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, headed by Professor Eacayan), the Department of Internal Medicine (formerly the Department of Internal Diseases, created in 1914 and headed by Professor Lang from 1919 to 1921), and several laboratories with the clinical nephrology unit.

A course of “efferent therapy” was started in 1994 at the Saint Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education (formerly the Imperator’s Clinical Institute, created in 1896). The course was later changed to the Department of Nephrology and Efferent Therapy and existed until 2011, when the Saint Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education merged with the Saint Petersburg Medical Academy n.a. I.M. Mechnikov (formerly the Institute of Psychoneurology, created in 1907) under the name North-Western State Medical University n.a. I.M. Mechnikov.

In 2004, the Department of Nephrology, headed by Professor Tomilina, opened in the Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (formerly the Moscow Institute of Medicine and Dentistry, created from the Moscow State Institute of Dentistry in 1949). This is a unique institution, providing postgraduate education in the fields of clinical nephrology, nephropathology, dialysis, and transplantation.

All of the abovementioned institutions provide professional education for residents and PhD students as well as certification courses and short-term continuing medical education (CME) courses.

The Society of Nephrology and Immunopathology, as part of the Moscow Scientific Society of Therapeutics created in 1895, started its work in 1958 and is currently active, conducts monthly meetings, and is devoted to selected issues of clinical nephrology, immunonephrology, and nephropathology.

The Scientific Society of Nephrology (SSN) was founded in 1969 by Professor Tareev, who was the President of the Society for almost 15 years. The congresses of the SSN have been conducted every 6 years since 1974, and during the intervening years Nephrology Summer Schools, initiated by Professor Natochin, the successor of Professor Gynetsynsky, were the most important events.

First contacts with ISN leadership were established by Professor Tomilina in 1994, when she invited Professor Brenner and Professor Dirks to attend the SSN meeting in Moscow. In 1995, the first CME course under the aegis of the ISN, ERA-EDTA, and IPNA was conducted in Moscow. The formal organizer was the SSN, but Professor Tomilina was the driving force. Among the invited international speakers were Professor Cameron and Professor Lameire. Unfortunately, due to formal official regulations the SSN was unable to continue its work for several years. The Scientific Society of Russian Nephrologists, the successor of the SSN, was started in 2005, conducting congresses and plenary assemblies and creating national guidelines and protocols.

In 1997, the Union of Pediatric Nephrologists was funded by an initiative of Professor Papayan [ 22 ]. In 1998, the Russian Dialysis Society (RDS) was established, with Professor Tomilina as the first president. This society is currently the most active professional society of nephrologists in Russia. It is affiliated with the ISN, ERA-EDTA, and EKHA, and cooperates with KDIGO, ERBP, and WKD leadership. The RDS is specifically dedicated to the education of nephrologists throughout the Russian Federation, and conducts up to five CME conferences each year in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and the big cities in Siberia, Volga, Far East, North West, North, and South Regions. Numerous international leaders of nephrology deliver talks at these meetings as invited speakers, as well as conducting ISN Educational Ambassadors Courses. The RDS also supports the registry and the journal Nephrology and Dialysis (see below). Translations of most KDIGO and ERBP Guidelines and World Kidney Day Editorials were undertaken and published by RDS initiatives [ 26-30, 35, 36, 43, 44 ].

The first journal to publish papers with nephrology articles in Russian was Urology and Nephrology , which was started in 1968 on the basis of the Urology journal, issued since 1965. The journal Nephrology was started by Professor Smirnov in Saint Petersburg in 1997 and was the first journal to publish a wide range of articles in the field.

In 1998, the journal Nephrology and Dialysis (an official journal of the RDS) was initiated by Professor Tomilina. This journal is the most influential nephrology journal in Russia with one of the highest impact factors among all medical journals in Russia. The journal Clinical Nephrology was started in 2009, and was edited by Professor Mukhin till 2017.

In 1998, Professor Tomilina initiated the registry of patients on RRT. The registry data is published every other year in the journal Nephrology and Dialysis , providing detailed information about many aspects of RRT in Russia. These include information not only about the number of centers and patients, but also on issues of anemia, hypertension, CKD-MBD management, viral hepatitis diagnostics and treatment, and many other aspects. The registry is affiliated with the ERA-EDTA Registry, providing data for international publications.

The most recent analysis, which includes published data till the end of 2015 [ 45 ] and unpublished data up to the end of 2016, shows that the total number of centers providing RRT is 506 (including 466 providing HD, 111 for PD, and 37 for kidney transplantation), with many centers providing two or three modalities. Of note, only centers providing care to both adult and pediatric patients with ESRD were included, while centers providing care specifically to patients with acute kidney injury were not registered. The number of patients with ESRD on HD + PD by the end of 2016 was 44,771 (33,876 on HD, 8,537 on PD, and 2,358 living with transplanted kidney); the mean ratio was 305 per million inhabitants. Furthermore, the number of patients on HD in 2016 was 78% greater than that in 2010, mainly due to the development of public-private partnership.

Absence of nephrology courses for students in Medical schools

Relatively short-term professional postgraduate education (2-year residency, absence of fellowship programs)

Lack of certified nephrologists

Under-recognition of CKD burden by health authorities and policy makers

Under-diagnostics of CKD in the adult population

Lack of cooperation among nephrologists and general practitioners, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and other specialists

Under-diagnostics of CKD and ESRD in the pediatric population

Lack of nephrology units, disproportionate to the number of dialysis units, especially outside big industrial areas

Lack of renal pathologists and unavailability of kidney biopsy in many regions

Under-development of PD

Uneven distribution of dialysis service throughout the territory of the country, with several remote regions still poorly covered by RRT

Lack of transplantation and insufficient organ har vesting

Insufficient funds for research

Nephrology in Russia, despite currently experiencing many difficulties, made great advances during the 60 years of its development. General nephrology, nephropathology, and RRT are developing fast. Implementation of international guidelines, access to modern educational tools, and cooperation with international professional societies are improving the quality of care of renal patients and ensuring further progress.

The author thanks Dr. Anton Andrusev, Dr. Sergey Lashutin, and Prof. Natalia Tomilina for their valuable help.

No ethic approval is required for this type of study.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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Moscow court rules US journalist Evan Gershkovich must stay in jail until late August

A Moscow court has rejected an appeal by U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich and upheld an earlier ruling that he should remain in jail on espionage charges.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 22, 2023. Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter detained on espionage charges in Russia, appeared in court Thursday to appeal his extended detention. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 22, 2023. Gershkovich, a reporter detained on espionage charges in Russia, appeared in court Thursday to appeal his extended detention. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the Moscow City Court, in Moscow, Russia, on April 18, 2023. A Moscow court is considering Wall Street Journal reporter Gershkovich’s appeal of his extended arrest on espionage charges. He was detained in Yekaterinburg in late March.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court on Thursday ruled that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich must remain in jail on espionage charges until at least late August, rejecting the American journalist’s appeal to be released.

The 31-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested in late March while on a reporting trip. A Moscow court ruled last month to keep him in custody until Aug. 30, but his lawyers had challenged the decision .

Gershkovich, wearing a black T-shirt and light blue jeans, looked tense and paced inside a glass defendant’s cage while waiting for the hearing to begin at the Moscow City Court. Then other journalists in the courtroom were asked to leave and the proceedings took place behind closed doors.

The ruling was broadcast to reporters, who watched it on two large TV screens in a separate room in the courthouse.

FILE - A view of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 1, 2020. Valery Gergiev, who has served as director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, was also appointed Friday by the Russian government the director of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

While waiting for the judge, Gershkovich smiled and chatted with his parents, who were present. U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy also attended.

“Evan continued to show remarkable strength and resiliency in these very difficult circumstances,” she told reporters afterward.

Tracy said she was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling, reiterating that Gershkovich was “an innocent journalist” and Russia’s charges against him were baseless.

“Such hostage diplomacy is unacceptable, and we call on the Russian Federation to release him,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal said in a statement after the hearing that Gershkovich “has been wrongfully detained for more than 12 weeks for nothing more than doing his job as a journalist,” and it again called for his immediate release.

Gershkovich and his employer have denied the allegations, and the U.S. government has declared him to be wrongfully detained .

His arrest in the city of Yekaterinburg rattled journalists in Russia, where authorities have not detailed what, if any, evidence they have to support the espionage charges.

Gershkovich is being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, which is notorious for its harsh conditions. Tracy said the U.S. Embassy was denied consular access to Gershkovich on three occasions since she last visited him in jail in April.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters the ministry is considering another visit request from the embassy.

Analysts have pointed out that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips in soaring U.S.-Russian tensions over the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine. At least two U.S. citizens arrested in Russia in recent years — including WNBA star Brittney Griner — have been exchanged for Russians jailed in the U.S.

Ryabkov has cautioned , however, that the possibility of a swap in Gershkovich’s case “could only be considered after a court delivers its verdict.” Prominent lawyers who worked on espionage cases told The Associated Press that the investigation alone could take up to 18 months.

Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Daniloff was released without charge 20 days later in a swap for an employee of the Soviet Union’s U.N. mission who was arrested by the FBI, also on spying charges.

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  24. Moscow court rules US journalist Evan Gershkovich must stay in jail

    6. Published 1:54 AM PST, June 22, 2023. MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court on Thursday ruled that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich must remain in jail on espionage charges until at least late August, rejecting the American journalist's appeal to be released. The 31-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested in late March while on a ...