Perception of research and predictors of research career: a study among clinical medical students of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, southeast Nigeria
Introduction: Acquisition of research experience by medical students is associated with good research pathway at the postgraduate level and also in the pursuit of a research career. Also, it assists the physician to make evidence based decisions in clinical practice.
Objectives: Aim of study was to determine the perception of research and predictors of research career among clinical medical students of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, southeast Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study design was used. All clinical medical students of Ebonyi State University who were willing to participate were included in the study. Information was obtained using a self administered questionnaire.
Results: A total of 235 students participated in the study, (response rate, 87.0%) . The mean age was 24.8±2.8 years and majority, 61.3% were males. Majority, 96.6% were of the opinion that research is important in the practice of Medicine, 66.4% opted for a mandatory research time in medical school and 18.3% agreed that students were encouraged to participate in research. A minor proportion, 24.3% have ever participated in research apart from the mandatory student projects and 40.4% intend to pursue a career in research. Barriers to students’ involvement in research included lack of funding, 43.4%, lack of time, 23.8% and lack of mentoring, 22.1%. Predictors of research as a career among the students included being a male student, (AOR=2.1; 95% CI:1.1-2.8), previous participation in research, (AOR=2.0; 95% CI:1.1-5.8), and students that had career guidance, (AOR=3.7; 95% CI:2.0-7.0),
Conclusions: Majority of the students have a good perception of research. However only a minor proportion have participated in research and were willing to pursue a career in research. There is the need to encourage and motivate the students towards having interest in health research while also addressing the identified barriers. Career guidance should be institutionalized in our medical schools.
Key words: Perception, research career, clinical medical students. Ebonyi state, southeast Nigeria.