My story in brief
This is my new website, which is designed in English, and was established in October 2018 with the aim of being a part of my communication channels with the academic world, a place to share experience and knowledge, as we all continue to learn from each other.
I do not like to call myself an expert, a scientist, or similar such titles. I am not even particularly proud to say that I have a lot of experience in the academic world. But, I am proud to say that I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge; and when someone emails me and tells me that I have changed the path of their scientific life, that makes my day. Well, you can call me a “Teacher”, because this is exactly what I do: Sharing my experience and knowledge and enlightening the path of the future for young researchers and scholars; and sometimes, changing their lives.
A long time ago, I decided to design a searchable database to organize my notes on scientific writing, statistics, and research methodology, for personal use. I had some skills of web design, HTML and PHP and online database programming, so, I decided to publish my notes on a website so that I could access it anywhere, at any time, even from my cell phone. A few days later, I received an email from a PhD student thanking me for my blog posts on statistical methods and research methodology. I felt that my idea could also be fruitful for others too.. I added more blog posts on different aspects of scientific writing and how to present the statistical findings in appropriate ways in a manuscript. Young scholars and experienced lecturers and professors, and research admins welcomed my daily notes on scientific writing, research ethics, research methods, and statistical analysis. After a few months, I had a weblog with hundreds of posts of daily notes and thousands of visits per day. Eventually, my personal blog and daily notes were receiving more visits than websites of universities!
I recognized an opportunity to communicate with scholars and learn from their experience, and share their experience with others on my daily note posts and on my speeches, workshops, and seminars. I became a live encyclopedia of solutions for almost all of the problems that PhD students and young researchers may encounter in their academic lives by sharing my experience and knowledge with them and, at the same time, I was learning from them. I can say that any time I deliver a workshop or a discussion session with professors and their PhD students, I learn some new and valuable pieces of information from them, and I am happy to share that new information with others in other workshops with other academic groups in other universities around the world.
A success story in changing the scientific life of a group of clinicians
One of my first success stories was a one-month course on preparing research proposals and designing the research, which I delivered for a group of about 30 physicians and clinicians. People seem to think that physicians are only good for practicing in hospitals or their private offices! But, I, as a physician, know that a good physician is someone who is also able to help his patients to achieve a better and healthier lifestyle, so, he should be a teacher as well!
A physician will sometimes encounters new and difficult problems in clinical work, and therefore should be able to find an appropriate solution to the questions that may arise, and solve the problems through designing and implementing scientific research. But, we know that not all physicians are proficient in such matters. During that workshop, I divided those physicians and practitioners into five groups or more, (I really don’t remember the numbers). I helped them to share their problems with each other and discuss them within the groups, then each of the groups chose a title for their research, based on the real problems they had in their work. Then, I helped them to choose the appropriate research design (i.e. cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, clinical trial), and then helped them to find out how to design the methods of sampling, determining the reliability of instruments and questionnaires, data collection, ethics of research, and using the appropriate statistical tests for data analysis. In each session, one of the representatives of each group was required to present their work in the seminar hall with the other groups, and then discuss the different aspects of the research and learn from each other as well.
It was amazing! After one month, I had five or six groups, and each group had come up with a well-written research proposal. I, as a person who was working in the research and education department, did my best to help my “Lazy Physicians” to fund their research. After a few months, all of my “Distinguished Researchers” (the former Lazy Practitioners), were busy with learning statistical methods and conducting the data collection of their research. Now, I see that some of them have really turned into “Distinguished Researchers” as they have decided to apply for MPH and PhD programs, and some of them have become lecturers and forgotten their “Life of Practicing Medicine”.
I am not going to bore you with all of the success stories here, but having said that, I have never seen anyone fall asleep when I speech in a workshop or seminar. Indeed, I am not a lecturer or someone who dictates a speech, but more someone who leads the discussions in my seminars and elicits, or encourages the attendants to talk and discuss things with each other in the group. I simply manage the discussions, and of course, I use the opportunity to share my experiences with them and at the same time, learn from them.