How to select thesis topic in MD/MS and DNB courses?



Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.

-Saadi Shirazi

Selecting  thesis topic in MD/MS and DNB courses , is more of an at than science. Regular practice and patience are key to success. However,  there are few tips that can make the process easier.

Research focus of thesis topic in MD/MS and DNB courses

Who should decide the thesis topic for MD/MS/DNB thesis ? You, a  PG student or  the guide.

Imagine you are an upcoming wildlife photographer. You are hired by National Geographic to make a photo journal on blue tailed monkey ( fictitious ) in the Amazon rain forest.
You are going into the jungle to do that.
Who would you like to decide the track you are going to follow? You or a local guide which is the son of the soil?

I do not know about you, but I will ask the local guide to decide where to go. I would love to get great photos of that monkey, but I would hate to even think of the idea of getting lost in the jungle.

The thesis is a task with similar complexity and challenge.
The most challenging task is to select a topic for the thesis.
The area of expertise of your thesis guide is the best field you should focus your thesis.

A new doctor usually does not have a clear research focus as it demands in-depth subjects knowledge to develops correct research questions.

Your thesis guide usually has adequate experience. So concentrate on the following points

Field of work of thesis guide: The outcome of a well-executive research project provided answers to a particular research question. Besides, it increases the understanding of that specific topic, which in turn help in raising many other research questions, which finally becomes bases for further research.

For example,
A cross-sectional study designed to identify risk factors for a disease x in a population. The outcome of the study is the identification of A, B, and C as risk factors for the disease X. It also gives rise to a question as to what extent the presence of the risk factor A in the population increases the odds of having the disease X. , a second study (case-control) is required to answer this question.

The previous experience with the research in the same or similar topic also gives one the idea of the difficulty faced in the study planning and execution.

You can get an idea of the field of your guides interest by looking at his/her previous publication or thesis will provide you with an excellent sense of the focus and direction of the research interest. It is better to find some topic in alignment with the guides research focus and direction.

Time frame for completion of thesis topic

Do not bite more than you can chew.

The average time allotted for completion of the MD/MS/DNB thesis is two years. It may further be reduced due to administrative delays like allotment of thesis Guides and selection of topic. At some institutions, it is only one year.

It is safe to presume that it takes around one month to finalize and submit the protocol and two months to write, print, and submit the complete thesis.

The remaining time, nine months or one year and nine months ( depending on, whether you have one or two years) are all you have for actual data collection.

You should keep in mind, the pattern of patients inflow at your institution to be able to recruit enough patients ( sample size) for your study, within this time frame.

You should only select a topic in which this is possible.

Technology and logistics available

A bird in hand is worth two in  the bush.

There is always a temptation to select a research topic based on some new technology, diagnostic modality, or treatment technique. It is better if that new technology or equipment is available in-house, in your department.

Negotiating with other department/institution to regularly avail their facilities is often challenging. It is because of the difference in timing, priorities, work culture, and administrative barriers.

One way to deal with it is to have a co-guide from that facility/institution.

You should diligently do your homework on this point before you take any research topic. It is practically impossible to change a co-guide or a lab facility, once the topic is finalized and protocol is submitted.

Statistical and Research Methodology Support to complete the thesis topic.

Imaging you are gifted a do-it-yourself kit to build a robot which can dance. It is meant for an age group of 10 yrs or more, and should take one hours to assemble. It has all the wheels , gears, levers, motors, wires and motherboard , required to assemble it into a functioning robot.

How long will it take to assemble? 45 minutes !

Now imaging the box has everything , accept the manual to assemble it. 

Now, how long will it take to assemble ?  Good luck.

You should better be Einstein to do it at all.

Writing a thesis in MD/MS and DNB courses, without having a correct research methodology planning, in practically impossible. Most of the thesis rejected are primarily due to flaws in the research methodologies only. 

We at assist in designing the correct research methodology for different research projects and MD/MS/DNB thesis. Fell free to call us  at +9151368005  or email at or submit your details here.

How to write a protocol ?

    The most complicated part of  a research project is the protocol that is comprehensive document  clearly summarizing the project. Such proposal is considered successful when it is clear, free of typographical errors, accurate and easy to read.

    How to find a right research question for your thesis topic?

    The fact often ignored while selecting a thesis topic is the research question underlying it. Probably the main reason why it is neglected happens to be the fact that it is vague and not adequately explained.

    So the million dollar question is, “what is the  research question and from  where should you get it ?”

    It is a clear, concise, explicit and arguable question around which is based on your thesis. It will help you focus your argument precisely on one issue and keep it on the right track. And finally, when you will be writing a paper for publication, the same question will make the main argument.

    The next important question is as to how should one find the right research question.

    The first step is to find the issue/topic which is of your interest. The research work is arduous and tedious. It is practically impossible to give your best if you do not like the issue in the first hand.

    The second step is the explore more about that topic, about what others have done on this issue, to date. Google, Google, and Pubmed are the best places to search.

    Step three is to start listing question that you feel are important and need an answer.

    Finally step four is to refine your question. Avoid question which has yes or no or straightforward answer. Why question is often complicated and arguable are preferred, but we should see if it is feasible for us to research that question in our setting and resources. A better question is those who have many answers. Also, these question will require you to explain or defend your answers.

    Let us know the issue you are facing in finding your thesis topic. We can ensure you that you are not the only one facing it.

    Post graduate training in medical colleges in India.

    Few of the bright students join MBBS courses in India, and  among them, a chosen few , which are unarguably the brightest, finally join the post graduation courses. Do the medical colleges that we have , really have the resources and the capabilities to train this talented pool of graduate doctors into the specialists of this century. In most institution, the clinical training is not bad  because of large number and great variety of patients available, but same can not be said about the medical research. An excellent article by MS Tullu and S Karande titled “Quality research in Indian medical colleges and teaching institutions: The need of the hour” throws light on this issue. Author succinctly points reasons why we should engage in research, and also elaborate that  we have adequate resources at our disposal that it can surely be done here in India only.

    Thesis writng


    The present status of thesis writing can not be better depicted than as done in a

    beautiful article written by  Dr. Dhiraj Sonawane, titled “Phobia about Thesis in Medical Postgraduate student”, in Journal of medical thesis, 2014.

    The article not only elaborates the reasons why students avoid participation in thesis writing but also suggests the ways with which the quality of post graduate thesis can be improved.  Its an article which should be read by both the students and the guide.