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Research in pediatrics

How to cite this article: Herrera-Márquez JR, González-Cabello HJ. Research in pediatrics. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2015;53 Suppl 3:S228-9.


Received: August 14th 2014

Accepted: September 1st 2015


Research in pediatrics

Julia Rocío Herrera-Márquez,aHéctor Jaime González-Cabellob

aDivisión de Investigación

bJefatura de Neonatología

Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Distrito Federal, México

Communication with: Julia Rocío Herrera Márquez

Telephone: (55) 5627 6900, extensión 22306


In the interest of encouraging the promotion of research done by physicians of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, in this supplement we publish articles written by residents of different specialties related to critical themes on pediatrics. These residents are guided by affiliated physicians from the Hospital de Pediatría del Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI.

Keywords: Clinical research, Pediatrics

In medical literature it is assumed that the work of scientists is reflected in original articles that are disseminated through regular publications in scientific journals. It is also assumed that researchers are trained and motivated to do that work.

At the beginning of his/her career the doctor has little contact with formal research and only upon specialization, for curricular reasons of medical residences, his is required to do research, which will culminate in the completion of their thesis. However, most of that research will not culminate with the dissemination of results in national publications, much less international.

Currently, part of research has as a priority professional consolidation rather than direct benefit to patient care, as research lines reflect more personal interest in a certain topic rather than solving priority health problems.

Since the beginning of this millennium, the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), under the initiative of the Coordinación de Investigación en Salud, has created so-called health priority issues, which are closely related to the diseases that most demand attention. Although research is included as a fundamental part of operations in tertiary hospitals, it was recently that research in IMSS units was encouraged to focus at least 80% on these priority issues, and that this was also supported with financing.

In their daily work, the pediatrician usually provides care guided by their concepts, judgments, and beliefs, which they cannot always justify objectively. This specialist performs their work with the backing of the knowledge they have acquired in their reading and clinical experience; however, they often face difficult diagnostic and therapeutic problems that they solve intuitively and pragmatically or by reading relevant literature, in which is not uncommon to encounter controversies surrounding scientific research that they analyze and, in the best case, decide to conduct an investigation related to the clinical problem that it faces.  

Since the founding of the Hospital de Pediatría of the Centro Médico Nacional in 1963, the need arose that, apart from giving quality care to children, research should be done by doctors interested in it, who started as tutors of the residents of the hospital, who as part of their college graduation requirements needed a professional thesis. This scientific production began to spread through so-called "Scientific Research Days", carried out since then almost without interruption. The Research Forum XXXV was held recently.

At the time most research designs were case studies and, with the advent and dissemination of clinical epidemiology in the eighties (of the last century), it progressed towards designs of cases and controls, cohorts, and even controlled clinical trials. Simultaneously, a research unit was created located at the Hospital de Pediatría itself, whose first area of ​​research was infectious and parasitic diseases. The earthquake of 1985 partially interrupted the formal research work of the hospital, which resumed after 1992 with the opening of new facilities as part of the model of a highly specialized hospital. Seven new research units were then created. This added resources and the research of the units to the production of research by residents and medical assistants, and joined clinical with basic research, which has enriched the diversity and significance of the knowledge generated. This is currently coordinated by the Grupo para la Detección y Aplicación de Resultados Exitosos de la Investigación, GADEI (Group for the Detection and Successful Application of Research Results) of the Coordinación de Investigación en Salud.

Most of the research published in national journals such as the Revista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social includes as authors or co-authors doctors who during their medical residency developed this work as a thesis for graduation; over the years the quality of scientific output has increased in the quest to achieve high standards, which is favored by the hospital environment, critical discussion of complex clinical cases with controversy on their diagnostic and therapeutic study, which have been analyzed during daily visits, where questions often arise not infrequently culminating in a research question. This critical facilitating environment has been helped by the effort in the Area de Educación e Investigación en Salud of the Hospital, which for 15 years has implemented research seminars as part of the core academic activities carried out through the submission of research protocols. These actions succeeded in increasing end efficiency. 

This issue of our prestigious journal publishes articles by residents of different specialties, both as branch and second specialty, which are mostly related to IMSS priority health issues, with clinical professors who are part of the medical personnel of the hospital, and which include topics of internal and pediatric medicine, cancer, infectious disease, metabolic diseases, disabilities, and more, highlighting research aspects of molecular biology in childhood diseases.

It is necessary to promote forums where research is the result of doctors’ theses from their specialization, novices in the area who are motivated to prepare themselves in scientific disciplines; of this group in the hospital, about 10% percent decide to get their Master’s degrees, and some of them their doctorates in related areas.

It is expected that based on this experience, our hospital and other medical units work from different strategies to help most resident doctors’ specialization theses end in publication.

Conflict of interest statement: The authors have completed and submitted the form translated into Spanish for the declaration of potential conflicts of interest of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and none were reported in relation to this article.

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