Tất Thắng Võ (Vietnam), 2015 – 2016

Before this Master, I graduated from the Hanoi University of Pharmacy as one of three valedictorians. Being a pharmacist specialized in clinical pharmacy, I had long been interested in the important role of evidence-based medicine, which is itself largely supported by Comparative Effectiveness Research findings about which drug, or more generally which treatment, works best. Thanks to the generous support of Prof. Isabelle Boutron, I was awarded a scholarship from the Ile-de-France region to enroll in this master, which has greatly helped me to widen and sharpen my knowledge regarding this new and interesting branch of public health.

During the courses, what I enjoyed the most was how often we were taught to think outside of the box when preparing a protocol for different scenarios when evaluating different drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. I also very much appreciated the chance to interact and to collaborate with my international colleagues who come from all over the world. Every week, we had to discuss together one topic given by the professors and come up with a nice presentation at the end of the week. This time restriction, as well as weekly changes of the members of each group not only forced us to adapt quickly with a new multicultural working group, but also allowed us to improve our ability to work under high pressure and to always be ready to deal with new challenges. We all agreed that this teaching method helped us form essential skills to work as professional researchers in the future.

Personally, I think that the understanding of high-level concepts of Comparative Effectiveness Research acquired throughout this Master will be a good foundation for me to go deep into clinical research methodology. In the near future, I would like to complete a PhD in CER. As for the distant future, I hope that I can return to my country to work as a lecturer and researcher and contribute to the development of this new domain in Vietnam.