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The role of scientific student societies in Paraguay

Rol de las sociedades científicas en la investigación médica estudiantil en Paraguay

Dear editor:

The scientific research in undergrade study is going through a crisis not only because the low production moreover by the quality of each one of them. One of the main causes is the lack of financing [1]. Evidence-based education and research are fundamental scaffolds for a holistic and integral process in the training of medical students, therefore, training centers are essential support pillars, which are sometimes overcome by abandonment and disapproval.

Research at the university area is an element of the educational process through which knowledge can be generated, being responsibility of the universities to develop the necessary competencies to research and promote research in the undergraduate program [2]. However, in Paraguay, poor university training in research, lack of support from university and / or teachers, and lack of fixed time for research make  difficult to develop a research culture, which is reflected in the low scientific production [3],[4].

Although the research process is appreciated as insufficient by undergraduate students [5], it has pass some metamorphosis over the years that leads to an improvement and better projection into the research field, all encouraged by the foundation of Scientific societies and / or research groups.

The scientific societies of medical students have emerged in various points of Paraguay in response to the need to increase scientific productivity, implementing the organization of scientific and training events such as congresses, courses, meetings, workshops, competitions and other activities of continuous medical training as strategy against low scientific production.

The Scientific Society of Medical Students of the National University of Asuncion (SOCIEM UNA) has as main objective to support and promote scientific research in the university population within undergraduate and continuous medical education, as well to encourage, promote and Inculcate the scientific spirit in the university population, facts that have been reflected in his 21 years of constant work.

The National Scientific Congress (CCN) organized every two years by SOCIEM UNA, is the student congress of Medicine with more impetus at country level, where students can present results of research works, clinical cases, research protocols, medical photographs and scale models with the requirements of the international parameters and standards. Attendance at this congress has had significant growth in recent years reflected in its last edition in 2016 with more than 890 participants. This is also seen in the International Scientific Congress (CCI), organized by the Latin American Federation of Scientific Societies of Medical Students (FELSOCEM), where Paraguay has had a consistent and important participation, bringing several awards in all categories.

In order to solve this problem that the undergraduate scientific research in Paraguay is going through, SOCIEM UNA implements the realization of workshops, Research Workshop for medical students (JOFIEM), even the publication of its own journal in order to promote medical education, research and publication of articles in medical students from Paraguay.

The process of promoting research and medical education must be a joint work to be acomplish between universities and scientific societies, in order to generate in the undergraduate student the necessary motivation to get involved in this field, to be enriched with valid information and Collaborate with health problems at the regional, national and international levels


From the editor
The authors originally submitted this article in Spanish and English. The Journal has not copyedited this English version.

Declaration of conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.

The authors declare that they have not received any funding for this letter.