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Identifyng barriers to successful research during medical school

Author(s): Chayan Chakraborti | Daniel J. Bourgeois III | Elizabeth Gleeson | William Gunderson

Journal: Medical Education Development
ISSN 2038-9531

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Despite an increase in the number of formal research courses and the support services that institutions provide, the success that students achieve is modest suggesting the involvement of other factors. The authors seek to determine the extent to which barriers and resources affect the ability for students to be successful in research endeavors. The authors distributed a cross-sectional survey via the Internet to members of the American Medical Association-Medical Student Section (AMAMSS) and the American Medical Student Association. The authors also distributed a paper version of the survey during the AMAMSS national conference in San Diego, CA, October 2010. The primary outcome was selfidentified successful research. The authors also assessed the supportive factors and barriers the respondents faced. 422 students completed the survey and identified having mentorship (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.11-1.60), student funding (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.26-1.69), and having an office or director of student research (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.26-1.70) as factors associated with successfully publishing as a medical student. Barriers to success in student research included being unaware what research occurs locally (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05- 1.76), lacking faculty mentors (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.07-1.95), and lack of a research office/coordinator (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.18-2.00). The effects of the barriers were not offset by the research curricula provided. To improve the success of medical students involved in involved in research, academic medical institutions must address barriers directly in addition to offering curricula in research methods.
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