I planned to apply for the Master of Comparative EffectivenessResearch at Paris Descartes two years before it started. I was performing my Medical Oncology residency in Paris and Sevilla and had graduated with a MSc in Ethics of medical research. I felt that I lacked the methodological skills needed to accurately appraise issues related to clinical research in oncology. To me this is a fascinating branch of cancer research and I wanted to learn about the broader aspects of clinical research, the reliability of different methods, and their relevance according to different clinical settings.
I was very fortunate that there were only a limited number of students, coming from all around the world. Only a few of us were medical doctors, providing a varied scientific background. The 1-week sessions focused on the predominant issues related to the methodology of clinical research in all the biomedical areas. Each week we had to perform a small project under the supervision of international researchers. Those projects and presentations taught us how to work quickly and effectively in a group.
My internship took place at the Center for Statistics in Medicine (Oxford, UK). I really enjoyed my time there and feel I developed a lot, being surrounded by international methodologists, statisticians. This experience helped broaden my horizons and give me different perspectives. My exceptional supervisor, Gary Collins, offered me a project on ethics of scientific publication, which is a major issue in my medical field. This work involved ten international co-investigators and it was displayed in two international congresses of methodology and medical oncology. Once that was completed I had enough time to perform a second project focusing more on statistics, which has translated into a second publication.
I am currently performing a fellowship at the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) in Brussels, which is the Mecca of methodology in cancer clinical research. What I learnt during my MSc of CER helps me greatly in my daily professional life…