Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards Medical Research among Students of a Medical College in Southern India

Shetty, Ranjitha S and Nair, Suma (2014) Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards Medical Research among Students of a Medical College in Southern India. Journal of Research in Medical Education & Ethics, 4 (2). pp. 220-225.

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Background: Health research is a low priority area in the developing world, mostly due to inadequate research budgets, increased competition for research funding and financially better rewarding clinical careers. Medical students therefore have a narrow definition of research and what it entails. Although medical graduates worldwide consider academia and research as unattractive career options, evidence suggests that exposure to research activities during medical school leads to interest in the area and greater scientific output. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge regarding medical research among the undergraduate medical students and to analyse their attitudes and practices towards research. Methodology: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was carried out among the undergraduate medical students of a medical school in southern India. Students present at the time of questionnaire administration during the lecture were recruited to the study. Results: Of the 585 respondents, 87% students felt that research was necessary in medical field and 25% of them expressed familiarity with various study designs. Majority of the students felt that research and clinical practice were related entities and nearly 44% had a positive attitude towards a career in research. While lack of financial returns and/or professional status were identified as the reasons for not pursuing research as a career option, holistic education and updated information were considered as chief motivating factors to undertake research. Internet was counted to be the major source of information regarding medical research. Only 25% of the study population had an exposure to research during their medical course and 9% attempted to publish their research work. One-third of the students were of the opinion that research should be a mandatory component of the medical curriculum; however, only 26% felt they had enough time for the same during the medical course. Conclusion::The study reports a wide gap between knowledge and practices towards research among the medical students. Negative attitude, lack of awareness and indifference to research as a career option are potential roadblocks. Promotion of research culture and research-based learning in the medical curriculum are necessary to address the pressing need for physician-scientists.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research; Medical students; Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Physician-scientists.
Subjects: Medicine > KMC Manipal > Community Medicine
Depositing User: KMC Manipal
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 04:49
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2015 04:49

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