Inclination towards research and the pursuit of a research career among medical students: an international cohort study

Ha, Tam Cam, Ng, Sheryl, Chen, Cynthia, Yong, Sook Kwin, Koh, Gerald C.H., Tan, Say Beng, Malhotra, Rahul, Altermatt, Fernando, Seim, Arnfinn, Biderman, Aya, Woolley, Torres, and Ostbye, Truls (2018) Inclination towards research and the pursuit of a research career among medical students: an international cohort study. BMC Medical Education, 18. 86.

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Abstract

Background: Involvement of clinicians in biomedical research is imperative for the future of healthcare. Several factors influence clinicians' inclination towards research: the medical school experience, exposure to research article reading and writing, and knowledge of research. This cohort study follows up medical students at time of graduation to explore changes in their inclination towards research and pursuing a research career compared to their inclination at time of entry into medical school.

Methods: Students from medical schools in six different countries were enrolled in their first year of school and followed-up upon graduation in their final year. Students answered the same self-administered questionnaire at both time points. Changes in inclination towards research and pursuing a research career were assessed. Factors correlated with these changes were analysed.

Results: Of the 777 medical students who responded to the study questionnaire at entry into medical school, 332 (42.7%) completed the follow-up survey. Among these 332 students, there was no significant increase in inclination towards research or pursuing a research career over the course of their medical schooling. Students from a United States based school, in contrast to those from schools other countries, were more likely to report having research role models to guide them (51.5% vs. 0%-26.4%) and to have published in a peer-reviewed journal (75.7% vs. 8.9%-45%). Absence of a role model was significantly associated with a decrease in inclination towards research, while an increased desire to learn more about statistics was significantly associated with an increase in inclination towards pursuing a research career.

Conclusion: Most medical students did not experience changes in their inclination towards research or pursuing a research career over the course of their medical schooling. Factors that increased their inclination to undertaking research or pursuing a research career were availability of a good role model, and a good knowledge of both the research process and the analytical tools required.

Item ID: 53714
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6920
Keywords: Inclination, Medical students, Research career, Research, Cohort
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Date Deposited: 23 May 2018 07:38
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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