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Dissemination of results from medical student public health research training and factors associated with publication


Purpose To examine factors associated with successful publications resulting from mandatory public health research training attachment, the Trainee Intern Health Care Evaluation (TIHE) projects, at the University of Otago, Dunedin School of Medicine, New Zealand.

Methods A total of 227 TIHE projects completed during the period from January 1985 to December 2013 were included in the study. In February 2016, Medline and Google Scholar databases were searched independently by both authors for publications using predefined search criteria.

Results Overall, 25 (11.1%) out of 227 projects resulted in 19 articles, 3 conference presentations/abstracts and 4 cited report abstracts. Nineteen (8.4%) projects resulted in 22 peer-reviewed journal publications, the majority of which were original articles (86.4%). The number of projects commissioned by a client was independently associated with the likelihood of publication, conference abstract or citation of the project report (OR 1.40; P<0.01, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.71). The number of authors and the number of non-student authors were positively associated with publication in higher impact journals, while student first-authored articles were more likely to be published in lower impact journals. Projects completed in more recent years were more likely to be published.

Conclusions Mandatory medical student research experiences promote tangible research output. These findings may help to influence policy around the introduction of required medical school research and facilitate encouraging academic careers among medical students. Future research could focus on examining how different student-related, supervisor-related and programme-related factors influence publication rates from mandatory medical student research attachments.

  • curriculum planning
  • dissemination of results
  • facilitating student research
  • medical student
  • mandatory research
  • New Zealand

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