IFEMED Journal Club: Interview with Oluwaseun Akinkuolie, Editor-in-Chief

Can you tell us more about IFEMED, what you do, and what sets it apart from other clubs?

The IFEMED Journal Club, established in 1975, is one of the oldest student-led journal clubs in Nigeria. Over the past 49 years, it has consistently published scientific journals on topical health issues, with 28 volumes indexed in academic repositories and public libraries, such as Academia, the Stanford University Medical Library, and the Hezekiah Olusanmi Library here in Ife. We also run a blog through our Campus Doctor arm, where we publish short, informative articles on health-related issues relevant to the university community. Additionally, we train IFUMSites in research through annual month-long seminars, which attract medical students and healthcare professionals from across Africa. Our recorded seminars are available on the Club’s MedAll account. The club also organizes the Late Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti Memorial Essay Competition and the Late Professor Olufisan O. Taiwo Memorial Essay Competition. Our significant contributions to scientific literature and our dedication to continuing education distinguish us from other IFUMSA organs.

Can you share your journey into joining IFEMED, and ultimately becoming the Editor-in-Chief?

I joined the Journal Club in the 2018/2019 session when I was in Part 3. The selection process was quite challenging, requiring us to write two scientific articles and go through an interview. After a probationary period, where I had to demonstrate my research skills, I was formally invited to join the club. I became Editor of Campus Doctor a year later, served as the Board Secretary the following year, and was eventually elected Editor-in-Chief. This has been my path to becoming the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Club.

What has been your proudest accomplishment since assuming office?

While I haven’t had a singular proudest moment yet, I’m particularly excited about our efforts to get indexed on African Journals Online (AJOL). The Provost expressed a desire to see the Journal indexed on AJOL, and we are working on that. Additionally, we are making efforts to ensure that IFUMSites are actively involved in all our activities.

What are the club’s biggest challenges and how are you tackling these challenges?

Funding has always been an issue and was a principal reason for the hiatus in journal publication many years ago. However, we’ve been fortunate to receive support from the College, Faculty, alumni, editorial board members, consultants, and private donors, which has helped mitigate these challenges.

What plans does your administration have in store for IFUMSAites? What can we look forward to?

We plan to collaborate more and involve IFUMSites in all our research activities. We will continue providing thought-provoking research seminars and will periodically review and critique original research articles online. I encourage all IFUMSites to join our online community and participate in our activities.

Can you explain the process of arriving at the theme for each journal?

The theme for each publication is typically proposed by an alumnus or the current Editor-in-Chief after months of research, reviews, and consultations. The theme undergoes several revisions before final approval to ensure it addresses a relevant and pressing issue. The Supervising Editorial Consultant or Editor-in-Chief then uses this theme as a guide to generate topics for Narrative Review Articles.

What are some of the themes of previous journals that the club has published?

Previous themes include Tuberculosis, Diabetes Mellitus, Malaria, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hypertension Kills, Female Infertility in Africa, Infectious Diseases in Children, Cancer in Nigeria, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Disease, Adolescent & Youth Health, Depression, Critical Care, Covidemic, and recently, Non-Communicable Diseases.

Who can join IFEMED journal club?

Membership is open to students from Part 2 to Part 5.

Any words of advice for those who would love to join the club?

Maintain good academic standing, participate in research activities, and learn as much about research as possible. Earn relevant certifications if you can. Our recruitment process requires submitting two articles and an interview to demonstrate your research knowledge. The process is open and transparent, with a fair review of every applicant. Remember, research is for everyone – write!

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