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A day in the field that changed my methodology

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 23 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:493
  1. Shifalika Goenka, senior research fellow, department of endocrinology
  1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences

    In India, more than 60% of the population use the services of private general practitioners. I had planned a study to assess GPs' knowledge of diabetes using a quantitative questionnaire based on semi-structured interviews. To pilot my questionnaire I went into a densely populated area of north Delhi and noticed how patients could choose a doctor from many on the same street.

    I stepped into a private GP's clinic, introduced myself, and explained the purpose of my visit. This clinic was small. It had a desk, an old cabinet, a partition behind which the GP examined the patients, a washbasin, and some chairs and benches for patients to sit on. The paint was peeling off the walls. It was the peak of summer with temperatures reaching 44°C, but the fans were not working …

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