Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Department of Surgery and Medical Research Center recently hosted the three-day Surgical Research and Innovation Ideas Symposium attended by over 300 participants comprising of HMC staff and members of Qatar’s healthcare, academic and research communities. The symposium showcased the research creativity, innovation and enthusiasm of clinical researchers from across Hamad’s surgical and peri-operative units.

Dr Abdulla Al Ansari, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Services and Chairman of the Organising Committee, first conceived the idea of the bi-annual series two years ago to help clinical peri-operative staff across different specialties to think ‘unconventionally’ and use new perspectives. The symposia will play a leading role in establishing a strong foundation for scientifically-strong surgical research projects and publications through the application of better research techniques and methodology.

Commenting on the series of surgical symposia, Dr Sabah Al Kadhi, Vice Chairman of Surgery at HMC who opened the symposium on behalf of Dr Abdulla Al Ansari, said that the 5th Surgical Research Symposium has become an excellent forum for sharing knowledge and fostering scientific and ethically strong research initiatives. It also enhances training in research and will benefit effective, evidence-based and compassionate patient care.

Participants from hospitals across Qatar presented and debated their research proposals with a panel of international and local research experts from HMC, Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar, Sidra Medical and Research Center and Harvard Medical School (USA). The panel scrutinised the research submissions, provided constructive comments and guided participants to develop the full potential of their research ideas and medical writing skills. Presenters also participated in one-on-one in-depth workshops and heard from speakers on a number of relevant topics including research ethics and processes, essential elements of a successfully published research proposal, and maximising the impact and preventing pitfalls in medical research.

Through this symposium, Dr Al Ansari hopes to provide an opportunity to promote team building opportunities within surgical teams through collaborative efforts between junior and senior researchers. It will also help promote inter-disciplinary collaboration between surgeons, anaesthetists, peri-operative nurses, technologists and administrators.

Professor Scott Shikora, Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, highlighted how impressed he was by the initiative and confident it would increase the number of well-designed research projects and publications.  According to him, this is an excellent opportunity to encourage and mentor young investigators in the art of conceiving a research concept, creating a protocol, conducting research, and publishing the results. He said that young investigators are often overwhelmed and intimidated by the process. In this symposium, young investigators from many surgical specialties were offered an opportunity to present their proposals to a panel of veteran researchers who critiqued their proposals and offered suggestions for improvements.

Dr Nasser Al Ansari, Al Wakra Hospital’s Chairman of Medical Research and Education added that the event is another milestone in creating a research culture in the Department of Surgery. Dr Yousuf Al Maslamani, Medical Director at Hamad General Hospital, said he was happy to see tremendous advancements in the series of surgical symposia.

It is reassuring that surgeons and peri-operative staff are keen to improve patient care through research and best practice evidence. As they pursue HMC’s vision of ‘Best Care Always’, I would like to continue to remind our researchers of the importance of integrity and ethics as they strive to achieve clinical excellence.

Dr Yousuf Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital

Professor Shahrad Taheri, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar, congratulated the organisers on an excellent initiative that demonstrated the impressive breadth and quality of research ideas. He also commended the enthusiasm of HMC’s clinical teams in identifying and developing the best evidence to improve patient care.

More information on Hamad Medical Corporation is available on their website