Primus inter pares

“Research should be written and discussed in English”

On Tuesday 21st June an important event took place at the Uronephrology Research Institute at Sechenov Medical University. The university has recently signed and become a member of the 5-100 project. The project fosters an “English Speaking Environment” as one of its principal aims. With this in mind Professor Irina Markovina, Head of the Foreign Languages department, Dr Denis Butnaru, Deputy Director of RI for Uronephrology, and Mr Jonathan McFarland, recently appointed as Head of the brand-new Academic Writing Office organised a Master Class in “Using English as the Lingua Franca in Professional Communication”.

The master class was divided into two main sections. In the first section Mr Jonathan McFarland gave a lecture entitled – “An Introduction to Academic writing”, where he highlighted the importance of research for medical professionals, and said, “Like it or not but the research should be written in English.” He went on to discuss the basic elements of a research paper, and then led a workshop where the participants, who were a very diverse group, including medical students fr om different specialities, pharmacy students, as well as consultants from departments such as anaesthesia or orthopaedics, worked on different group activities relating to academic writing.

In the second section, the participants were made to discuss and debate poster presentations, concentrating on questions and answers, which was a highly effective way of introducing them to the reality of International Conferences, and the students participated actively and enthusiastically. After this, there were five one-minute presentations on different topics, ranging from Depression to Bioprinting, followed by three to four minutes of debate and discussion, wh ere the speakers had to answer questions from the audience.

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The organisers, expertly aided by members of the University’s English Language Scientific Society, have been very pleased by the response from those attending, and now aim to build on this foundation and make these workshops a regular event. The main aim is to boost professional and public speaking skills for healthcare professionals. And, of course, using the lingua franca of Medicine, English. “Revolutionary? Perhaps.”

“Possible? Without doubt.”

“Important ? Of Course.”

Jonathan McFarland,

Irina Markovina,

Denis Butnaru

23.06.2016

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