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Publication Component of the UK Foundation Programme Application: Perception of Medical Students

Authors Pang KH, Hobbis C, Burleigh EJ, Miah S

Received 30 July 2020

Accepted for publication 22 September 2020

Published 8 October 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 735—740


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Karl H Pang,1 Chloe Hobbis,2 Eleanor J Burleigh,3 Saiful Miah4

1Department of Oncology and Metabolism, Academic Urology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 2Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 3Leeds Children Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK; 4Department of Urology, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK

Correspondence: Karl H Pang
Department of Oncology and Metabolism, Academic Urology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Introduction: The 2-year UK foundation programme (FP) application is based on a scoring system and final year medical students are ranked and allocated to their preferred choice of region to work and train in based on their scores following graduation. Points are allocated to academic components including publications. We aim to evaluate UK medical students’ perception of the publication component of the application.
Methods: A 15-item online survey based on students’ perception of the publication component of the FP application was distributed to final year medical students from all UK medical schools. Opinions were sought via a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: A total of 155 final year medical students from 9 medical schools completed the survey (response rate 155/1926, 8.05%). In the survey, 69.7% of students felt under pressure to achieve PubMed-indexed (PMI) publications, 7.1% were not aware that the FP application included points for PMI publications and 72.9% had no publications at the time of application. The main reasons for publishing were for the FP application (81.3% agreed) and to increase competitiveness for future specialty training (85.0% agreed). In contrast, 27.1% agreed that they were motivated to publish due to disseminating knowledge; 22.6% and 25.8% agreed that their medical school did not provide adequate training or opportunities for them to achieve PMI publications, respectively.
Conclusion: The majority of students felt under pressure to publish with their primary motivation cited as enhancing their FP application. Overall training and opportunities to publish appear to be inadequate amongst the cohort studied. Medical schools should consider providing academic training and opportunities early to highlight the importance and rationale behind research/audits, minimise pressure and optimise research outputs in preparation for FP application.

Keywords: foundation school, foundation programme, medical students, publication pressure, UK postgraduate training

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