Overview of a Medical Dissertation

Dissertations are a requisite undertaking in masters and doctoral medical studies. The dissertation is supposed to turn the medical student into a physician and scholar.

At the core of the dissertation writing process are some key processes that include:

1. Understanding the scientific method,

2. Designing the hypothesis,

3. Collecting and evaluating data,

4. Communicating acquired knowledge effectively, and

5. Thinking scientifically and critically in all medical settings.

The process of writing a medical dissertation encompasses concerted efforts between the scholar and the respective supervisor(s).

Such efforts begin with the selection of the research topic and runs throughout the writing process.

In this process, an appropriate dissertation structure comes in handy. 

There are also important tips you could apply to help ensure a smooth dissertation writing process. 

Tips for Writing a Medical Dissertation 

Some writing tips could be observed to help produce top-quality work.

These tips include:

a) You should develop an outline

It is important to create an outline of the content that you seek to include in your dissertation.

Such an outline should entail:

1) chapter headings,

2) chapter sub-headings,

3) titles for all figures and tables, and

4) relevant notes and comments.

You should ensure that the outline covers all the pertinent areas of the dissertation.

Subsequently, go ahead and submit the outline to your supervisor for an analysis and advice where necessary.

b) You should ensure that your dissertation assumes a proper organization

Organization is very critical in the writing process.

Such organization should be realized through a computer filing system.

In this, there should be a word document for every chapter and another different document for all the respective references.

There should as well be a backup for the files that is maintained as soon as the files are updated.

Such backups can be realized through the use of two or more disks and regular upload of the updated files to your email.

You should have a physical filing system.

This system entails numerous folders containing hard copies of your medical dissertation chapters.

The chapters should be well numbered to make it easy to start the writing process.

Also, there should be a file for research results and entailed calculations.

Lastly, you should keep another file for respective speculations, references, and old notes.

All these folders should be stored in a filing cabinet or a box.

It is essential to produce copies for the physical files.

Data stored in the form of physical files should be reproduced  and the different copies kept in distinctive locations.

Markedly, the data book should also be reproduced for two or more copies.

c) You should come up with a timetable

You should consult with your supervisor on the appropriate manuscript writing timetable.

This timetable should include the timelines and dates for submission of each chapter draft, presentation of comments by the supervisor, and completion of the final draft.  

You should then work towards meeting the stipulated deadlines.

Per se, you should ensure that you write down detailed notes whenever you are working on your medical dissertation.

These notes should help you come up with the draft that is to be later refined.

Then work on the corrections suggested by your supervisor as early as the draft is submitted back.

You should ensure that you check for spelling and grammatical errors before submitting your drafts.

Importantly, as you write the drafts, make sure that all sources are effectively referenced.

d) You should thoroughly proofread your work 

Proofreading is an important step in writing your medical dissertation.

It should seek to ensure that your work assumes the correct form and structure.

As such, you should ensure that there are no grammatical, typological, and spelling errors. additionally, the sentences should be short and declarative, and should use simple words with as minimal syllables as possible.

You should as well avoid using complex technical terms.

Key Sections of a Medical Dissertation

Organization is quite critical when writing each chapter of your medical dissertation.

It is important to understand different institutions may require slight modifications in the organization of these chapters.

However, and in most cases, such chapters should appear as illustrated below.

a) Introduction

This chapter entails an in-depth review of background literature.

The entailed analytical review looks at the literature that forms the basis for the dissertation investigation.

It should be adequately encompassing and should cite works that led to interest in the area being studied.

Usually, this chapter should have numerous sub-sections that lay the foundation for the study.

Some of the key areas that it should cover include study aims, research question(s), and expected results.   

b) Materials and Methods

This chapter should provide a detailed description of the processes employed in the study.

For experiment-based studies, it should as well describe the materials used in deriving the study results.

You should understand that this is one of the most critical chapters in a medical dissertation since its credibility  extensively relies on the effectiveness of the chapter.

Some of the areas covered in this chapter involve study design, study population and sampling, data collection methods, and data analysis methods.

c) Results

This chapter should involve a commentary on the study results.

It usually entails a presentation of the results in a logical manner to enable the reader understand all the relevant data and their relationship to the study question.

Presentation should focus on the most pertinent data and should utilize visual aids like graphs and tables.

All the graphs and tables should be effectively labeled and numbered.  

d) Discussion 

Discussion focuses on your medical dissertation findings.

It summarizes these findings to derive a major theme that acts as dissertation evidence. 

It should reconcile the study results with the literature review and the study question. 

As well, it should evaluate the limitations of the study, its major contributions, and areas that may require further study in the future. 


e) Bibliography: this entails a list of all resources used in the study.

Principally, all sources used should be effectively referenced and provided in this section.