Unpublished surveys and assessments (usually found in the appendices of articles) may be freely available, but you will need to contact the author(s) to gain permission to use the survey in your research.
Looking at previously published dissertations is a great way to gauge the level of research and involvement that is generally expected at the dissertation level.
Is your research idea still relevant to the current state of the discipline?
Literature reviews can help you answer these questions by providing a compact and summative description of a particular research area.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, a strong medical dissertation relies heavily on the creation of a specific hypothesis that can be either disproven or supported by data collected by independent student research.
Further, it must also contain several key elements starting with an introduction to the problem statement, conceptual framework and research question as well as references to literature on already published on the topic.Previously published dissertations can also be good sources of inspiration for your own dissertation study.Similar to scholarly articles, many dissertations will suggest areas of future research.Like most scientific publications, the thesis must also contain a section of published results and an analysis of what this entails for the scientific or medical community.The discussion and conclusion sections let the review committee know that the student understands the full implications of his or her work as well as its real-world application to their field of study (and soon, professional work).Although students are expected to conduct the bulk of their research and pen the entire dissertation on their own, most graduate medical programs provide an advisory and review committee to the student upon starting their studies.Through a series of weekly reviews over their course of schooling, the student and his or her advisor hone in on the hypothesis of the dissertation before they submit it to the review committee to begin work on writing the thesis.A dissertation must also be relevant (and proven to be such) as well as capable of being researched independently by the student.Though the required length of these dissertations varies by school, the governing body overseeing the practice of medicine in the United States standardizes this same protocol.From there, the student can take as long or as short of a time as they need to complete their dissertation, often resulting in students who have finished their entire courseload achieving ABD status ("all but dissertation"), just shy of receiving their full Ph. In this interim period, the student — with the occasional guidance of his or her advisor — is expected to research, test and write a dissertation that can be defended in a public forum.Once the review committee accepts the finalized draft of the thesis, the doctoral candidate will then get the chance to publicly defend his or her statements.