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Factors Predictive of Medical Student Involvement in Research: Results from a New Zealand Institution

Authors Alamri Y, Monasterio E, Wilkinson TJ

Received 26 September 2020

Accepted for publication 6 February 2021

Published 23 February 2021 Volume 2021:12 Pages 183—187


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Yassar Alamri,1 Erik Monasterio,2 Tim J Wilkinson1,3

1Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand; 2Department of Psychological Medicine, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand; 3Medical Education Unit, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence: Yassar Alamri
Canterbury District Health Board, 2 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand
Tel +6421750015
Fax +6433786080

Background: Previous studies have elucidated several benefits of engagement in research by medical students. The aim of the current study was to assess if any factors influenced the student’s actual involvement (not mere interest) in scholarly activities during medical school.
Methods: All medical students at the University of Otago were invited via e-mail to complete an online questionnaire. The outcome was a substantial contribution to a research project. The predictors were prior research experience, student’s entry route, and planned career type. Multiple regression analysis was undertaken to control for any confounding factors influencing medical students’ involvement in research.
Results: Valid responses were gathered from 669 students (yielding a response rate of 44.8%). Of those, 254 students (38.3%) had engaged in one or more research activities. Students who engaged in research activities indicated a higher likelihood of future involvement in research but expressed less interest in internal medicine sub-specialties as potential future careers.
Conclusion: A sizeable proportion of our samples has been involved in the research. Targeting medical students not yet involved in research may necessitate additional curricular and faculty support in order to stimulate their research curiosity.

Keywords: medical education and training, New Zealand, medical student

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