Keith Sacco received the runner-up prize of the HealthWatch competition in which medical students are invited to show their skills in assessing research protocols.
Dr Sacco, 23, took part in the competition during his final year of medical school at the University of Malta. He was the first prize-winner from a medical school outside the UK.
HealthWatch is a UK medical charity which promotes the proper scientific testing of all types of medical treatments, from orthodox to complementary and alternative medicine. Open annually to nursing and medical students, the competition is part of HealthWatch’s campaign to create awareness amongst healthcare providers, the public and the media that well-designed clinical trials are the best way of producing effective treatments.
The competition requires entrants to read and critique four protocols for hypothetical clinical trials. Dr Sacco’s prize-winning entry critically appraised the quality of the protocols, providing reasons why he thought the results would or would not stand up in the scientific community, explaining his reasoning throughout.