Medical students’ challenges and suggestions regarding research training: a synthesis of comments from a cross-sectional survey

  • John J. Riva 1) Department of Family Medicine; 2) Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Radwa Elsharawi Wayne State School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan.
  • Julian Daza Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Augustin Toma Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Robert Whyte 1) Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine; 2) Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Gina Agarwal 1) Department of Family Medicine; 2) Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Canada
  • Jason W. Busse 1) Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact; 2) Department of Anesthesia; 3) The Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care; 4) The Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Background: We previously reported on a cross-sectional study of students from the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University that found most respondents wanted more opportunities to participate in research. Students provided additional comments that we synthesized to enrich the findings of our quantitative analysis.  

Methods: From our previously administered 13-item, online questionnaire, run across three campuses in Ontario, Canada, 498 of 618 medical students completed our survey and 360 (72%) provided optional written comments, which we synthesized using thematic analysis in this current study. 

Results: Major themes that emerged were: (1) Active student participation to identify research opportunities and interested mentors are needed; (2) Types of research involvement; (3) Uncertainty whether research training translates into useable skills; (4) Desire for a formalized research curriculum and centralization of research opportunities across campuses. 

Conclusion: Programs should stress to interested students the importance of actively looking for research opportunities and consider both large and small-group educational sessions.

Published
2019-07-21
Section
Brief Reports