August 26, 2019

Case Study: Understanding the significance of research, with Dr Atta ur Rehman Khan Muhammad Nazir

Dr Atta ur Rehman Khan Muhammad Nazir
Clinical Nutrition Department, Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Madinah Al Munawarrah.
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNG-HA), Saudi Arabia.

Dr Atta has worked in clinical nutrition for the last 24 years, juggling at any one time his work in practise with intensive care patients, oncology patients and pediatric patients, giving presentations to the hospital staff, and heading up clinical studies as well as assisting with the training of students and medical staff.

Dr Atta has been using interactive self-study modules in Research to Publication, provided courtesy of The Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs to learn more about research outcomes and ethics. Research has been an important element of Dr Atta’s education and career for many years, but working on the Research to Publication course provided him with new information that he hadn’t yet come across in all his years of training:

“I have been taught research since I was a student at university. But, I always thought there were very significant gaps – gaps which have now been filled by the Research to Publication programme. I highly appreciate the curriculum, and the modules that are addressed. It’s very specific and I feel I learned a lot from the experience.”

When we asked Dr Atta of his goals for the year ahead, he explained that “nutrition has an important role in disease prevention. So if we have more research, and continuous updates to the information we have access to, that is going to help the community as well as the hospital’s goals for the upcoming year, as it will affect medical outcomes and lead to more efficient care.”

But what Dr Atta found most rewarding from his experience with the programme, were some of the particular concepts that Research to Publication addresses. While publishing research is a key part in medical education, many students find themselves in a situation where their research does not
go to plan.

“Research to Publication emphasises the importance and significance of all research, whether it reached the desired outcome or not. Negative studies should not be discouraged – even studies that did not go to plan have importance for future research and information in healthcare. It can highlight certain truths about treatment, medications, or the current state of affairs in the care industry.”

“By continuing to publish this research, it develops trust within the research community, by sharing a sense of honesty and trust.”

Dr Atta also found the methodological modules in the programme highly useful, such as learning how to design a proposal, how to write a paper, and how to choose the best research design, explaining that these too were aspects of learning that had been missed in his education up until now. “I think this was amazing, I highly appreciate it… I don’t have the words to explain it, but I really enjoyed all the modules.”

“That’s why I finished the programme in two months – I was unstoppable! I spent weekends, hours after work and evenings working on it, I didn’t care – it was so interesting. I was so keen that I spent hours without caring about rest or fatigue. My analysis and my skills have a new dimension now after using Research to Publication.”

Dr Atta also stressed the importance of learning about ethics and scientific misconduct, something that he also felt had been neglected from other programmes: “As researchers, we cannot exaggerate our results and mislead people, as that is going to affect the health of the many. We must accept
accountability.”

“Research to Publication has had a 200% positive impact on my work. Since completing it, I feel that it needs to be shared with everyone. I think the course should be mandatory for everyone, not just junior researchers.”