Research: Why aren’t more medical students doing it?
Background: Many medical schools in Australia and Internationally struggle to engage medical students along a research pathway.
Aims: The aim of this study was to identify medical student’s confidence, attitudes and perceived obstacles to participating in research during medical school.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out of undergraduate medical students in years 1–5 attending the University of Tasmania.
Results: Of the 237 students who responded to the survey (response rate of 41.9 per cent) the majority (70.3 per cent) agreed that research was a useful experience and expressed a desire to be involved in research (60.1 per cent). Women were generally less confident than men in their ability to conduct research while research experience was significantly associated with an increase in confidence in conducting research. Frequently endorsed reasons by students for not undertaking an Honours year were a desire to not delay graduation by a year for financial (79 per cent) and employment reasons (71 per cent) and social concerns regarding integrating with a different year group (69 per cent). Additional concerns included a lack of time and motivation.
Conclusion: The difficulties inherent for students in undertaking research including low confidence, lack of time, financial constraints and pressure to get out into the workforce should help to inform medical educators in developing solutions to encourage student participation in research.
Publication titleAustralasian Medical Journal
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherAustralasian Med Publ Co Ltd
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statementCopyright Australasian Medical Journal 2017. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/