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The role of research training during higher medical education in the promotion of academic medicine in the UK
  1. P K Myint1,
  2. A M J MacLullich2,
  3. M D Witham3
  1. 1School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  2. 2The Geriatric Medicine Unit, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Section of Ageing and Health, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 P K Myint
 Clinical Gerontology Unit, Box-251, Level 2, F& G Block, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK;Pkyawmyint{at}


Objectives: To examine the research activities and perceived barriers to research among higher specialist trainees in geriatric medicine and to show how trainees active in research might have a role in assisting their peers in getting started in research.

Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey on research activities, attitudes to doing research and perceived difficulties in doing research.

Setting and participants: Trainee members of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) in the UK.

Results: A total of 122 responses (30% response rate) were received after a single mailing and a follow-up questionnaire to trainees attending the BGS national conference. Although 64% (67/104) of respondents would like to undertake a period of research, many perceived barriers preventing them from planning, funding and executing a research project. Among those who had not undertaken research, the majority (70%, 42/60) indicated that they have no clear idea of a topic to research, 64% (39/61) did not know how to develop an idea and 62% (38/61) indicated that they did not know how to get funding. Trainees motivated to do research were faced with particular difficulties with regards to funding and selection of a project topic.

Conclusions: One useful method would be systematically to provide basic information to trainees on how to enter into the early stages of research. This would help to overcome some of the unnecessary uncertainty that many trainees keen to do research seem to have.

  • BGS, British Geriatrics Society
  • SpR, specialist registrar
  • academic medicine
  • geriatric medicine
  • higher medical training
  • specialist registrars

Statistics from


  • Funding: Mailing and administrative costs of the surveys were supported by the British Geriatrics Society.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Publication disclaimer: The results of the BGS trainees survey were published in the September 2004 issue of the BGS Newsletter.

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