-by Dr Imbesat Maheen Syed
During this Corona Virus pandemic, a lot of misinformation is out there and we as doctors, clinicians and health care workers or as students must come forward and do research in this area. This is a new virus and a new disease, so we have to delve into the existing knowledge and generate more awareness of it.
Play your part in the community
For those to whom research is new, I’ll walk you through a simple guide below.
Research: Types and ways to do it:
What is research? Well, research is defined as “A combination of creative and systemic work, undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge.” Though an encompassing definition does not exist, this definition will be sufficient to introduce readers to the idea of it.
There are several forms of research:
Scientific, Humanities, Artistic, Economic, Business, Marketing, Technology and etc.
Steps in conducting research include:
- Identification of the research problem
- Literature review
- Specifying the purpose of research
- Determining specific research questions
- Specification of a conceptual framework, sometimes including a set of hypotheses
- Choice of a methodology (for data collection)
- Data collection
- Verifying data
- Analysing and interpreting the data
- Reporting and evaluating research
- Communicating the research findings and, possibly, recommendations
Purpose and power:
Research serves its intention to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm previous work, solve new or existing problems, support previous work, support previous theories or develop new. Research is used to develop further knowledge in any field and topic.
The purpose of the research is essential. It helps you in your personal growth and also that of the community.
The steps mentioned above generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps. This brief view of the whole process of research would vary according to your field and area of interest. One must conform to current guidelines, mentors, and supervisors for their work.
Research is beyond gaining credentials; which it serves a purpose too. Research helps you polish your knowledge & skills. You learn and teach at the same time. It’s an opportunity to explore and become part of cutting edge development in your respective field and area of research. It’s an opportunity to delve into areas that might have been overlooked before.
Research must come from inspiration rather than a mere need. The first person to benefit is yourself, as it plays a significant part in the professional and personal development and growth, and consequently helps in the event of that field in particular and community in general.
When conducting a study, one must comply with research ethics. Publishing your research is the method by which you share it with people in that field and journals and academic publishing.
Research in Medical Sciences:
One of the most developed fields of study in medical research. Research in any field in general and medicine, in particular, contributes to produce evidence. Evidence in simple words provides with the guideline in that area and practice. Research is the building block of evidence.
In medical sciences, the evidence is specified as; Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research. EBM goes further, classifying evidence by its epistemological strength and requiring that only the most reliable types (coming from meta-analyses, systemic reviews, and randomized controlled trials) can yield strong recommendations; weaker types (such as from case-control studies) can produce only weak recommendations.
Take away message:
Research can be at the institutional level or the individual level.
So next time, when ‘research’ comes to your mind, try to look from a bigger perspective and not just as a term that is sometimes mistaken for merely looking for something on a search engine.
I’ll leave my readers with this message that whatever field you’re in, try to explore the area of research at whatever level you can, not just for yourself but for the contribution to your field, community and people.
In these times, the current pandemic of COVID-19, we need to play our role in the community at an individual and collective level more than ever before. If research is not your area of interest or a natural inclination towards it then you don’t have to force yourself into it, you can play your part by following guidelines and medical advice and by encouraging people around you to do the same.
-The writer is a resident of Paediatric Surgery, researcher, author, writer, and motivational speaker. She has written various papers on COVID-19, including policy papers, editorials, perspectives/opinions, research articles and public awareness on COVID-19