Assessment of Medical Students’ Attitudes Towards Research and Perceived Barriers
Background: Health research has been integrated as part of the curriculum of many health sciences teaching universities. The aim of this study is to measure the attitude of medical students towards research.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted from March to May 2016 using the Student Attitude Towards Research (SAR) scale. The survey was distributed amongst undergraduate medical students at the College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Main outcome measure was score on attitude scale with 15 Likert-type statements.
Results: A total of 237 responses were collected from the students (55.6% males and 44.3% females). In general, students agreed that ‘research is important for identifying and investing problems in a subject matter’ (N=206, 86.9%). Female students showed significantly more positive attitude towards research (P<0.05). In regards to the degree of involvement of the faculty in the research program, 35% of students agreed that it was acceptable, and 48.1% agreed that the faculty members have adequate skills to handle research methodology.
Conclusion: Most of the surveyed students were aware of the importance of undertaking medical research, but their attitude to the field was not always positive. There is an urgent need to introduce research programs as a part of the curriculum of all medical colleges, and ensure that these programs meet their goals and continue to be improved by providing good infrastructural facilities in order to provide skillful physicians to support research related activities.
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