• Vol. 36 No. 9, 760–764
  • 15 September 2007

Should Medical Research Have a Place in Future Clinical Training?

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ABSTRACT

Aim: To determine the attitudes of training grade (Senior House Officer – SHO, Specialist Registrar – SpR) and non-training grade doctors (both Staff Grade and senior or Consultant level) towards the place of research in the curriculum for junior doctors and also the pursuit of research by senior (but non-academic) clinicians. Materials and Methods: A survey of a range of doctors from differing grades (above) was sent to all doctors of the employing Trust (comprising most of the regional training scheme) with a number of fixed questions but also an opportunity to provide free-text responses. Percentages of the fixed responses were estimated and free-text responses were grouped into main themes and miscellaneous items. Results: Despite much criticism of the current protected research time for higher trainees in psychiatry in the UK and the anticipated abolition of this within the new training structure after August 2007, we found surprising and strong support for structured research training, experience and the opportunity to pursue this at senior level even for non-academic clinical consultants. Conclusions: Urgent review of the new training grade curriculum is needed with emphasis on how to address the research opportunities for trainees and seniors without compromising clinical, teaching and managerial obligations. A better use of such opportunities was strongly supported rather than the proposed abolition, which seems to be fast approaching.


There is national and international concern about the plight of medical research. Both academic and clinical resources are under increasing strain and there has been a steady decline in graduates pursuing research careers.1-3

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