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Most medical students face barriers in pursing research interests

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A recent survey of medical students found that although many are interested in perusing research and scientific projects, most students had lower attitudes towards research due to several barriers including limited time, resources, and funding; and a lack of knowledge on how to initiate a research project.

In this cross-sectional study, 695 students from the Medical University of Warsaw completed a survey of scientific interests and activities, opinions on selected research issues, and perceptions of potential barriers.

-More than half of responders (55.2%) said they had high scientific interests in high school
-One-third (33.8%) said they planned to pursue research activity after graduation
– Approximately half (52.8%) said they planned to obtain a PhD

The study authors noted that responders with higher scientific interests in high school were more likely to be involved in research projects during medical school 24.7% vs 17.5%, P = 0.044) and more likely to say they wanted to pursue a career in research (37.9% vs 28.9%, P = 0.02).

“Medical universities should consider adapting their curricula accordingly to accommodate the needs of both groups and respond to the shortage of physicians working in clinics and research,” the authors concluded.

Sobczuk P, Dziedziak J, Bierezowicz N, et al. Are medical students interested in research? – students’ attitudes towards research. Ann Med. 2022;54(1):1538-1547. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2022.2076900. PMID: 35616902.