Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 696-700  

Assessment of the impact of short term studentship program on attitude of undergraduate medical students toward future research


1 Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Surgery, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication18-Nov-2014

Correspondence Address:
Charusheela R Gore
Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.144847

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  Abstract 

Context: Exposure to research is essential in modern undergraduate (UG) medical curriculum. In India, various bodies like Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Science and Technology, Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana are promoting this. The ICMR initiated short term studentship (STS) program in 1979 to promote interest and aptitude for research in medical and dental students. Objectives: To analyze the STS program as a tool in sensitization of UG medical students toward research activity and to study the effect of UG research experience on student learning and attitude. Materials and Methods: The UG students from this institute who had completed STS projects were included in the study. They were given a questionnaire and briefly interviewed. Analysis of the factors contributing and inhibiting to take up research was done. Mainly qualitative methods were used. Results: A total of 72 students participated in the study. Among them were 20 (27.7%) were boys and 52 (72.2%) were girls Thirty (41.7%) students took up project to get oriented toward research, while 20 (27.8%) had interest in research. Inhibitions for taking up the projects were lack of knowledge, time constrains and lack of confidence. Factors attributed for successful project completion were constant support from guide, self-enthusiasm and proper time management. About 97.2% felt project has made significant difference in understanding of the subject. Totally 41% students were unable to present or publish the work done. The main hurdle faced for not presenting or publishing the work done was time constraint due to voluminous UG medical curriculum. Conclusion: Overall impact of this program was good. Though, the students showed good attitude toward research, the factors which are inhibiting the other students to come forward for projects needs to be addressed.

Keywords: Attitude, Indian Council of Medical research, short term studentship program, undergraduate medical students


How to cite this article:
Gore CR, Jadhav SL, Dubhashi SP, Buch AC, Chandanwale SS. Assessment of the impact of short term studentship program on attitude of undergraduate medical students toward future research. Med J DY Patil Univ 2014;7:696-700

How to cite this URL:
Gore CR, Jadhav SL, Dubhashi SP, Buch AC, Chandanwale SS. Assessment of the impact of short term studentship program on attitude of undergraduate medical students toward future research. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 May 14];7:696-700. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypu.org/text.asp?2014/7/6/696/144847


  Introduction Top


Research training is essential in modern undergraduate (UG) medical curriculum. During the last decade, there has been renewed emphasis on the medical student research experience. [1]

The implementation of research component at UG level is important as it helps to develop a judicious insight in their academic and clinical practice, which every medical person should possess. [2]

It is essential to inculcate critical thinking, logical reasoning skills and to develop positive attitudes toward scientific research among medical students from the beginning of their career. [3],[4]

In India, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) are doing a lot in this regard. [5]

The ICMR initiated the short term studentship (STS) program in 1979 with objective to promote interest and aptitude for research among medical and dental students in the country. The main focus of this program is to provide an opportunity to medical students to familiarize themselves with research methodology and technique by being associated for a short duration with their seniors on an ongoing research program or by undertaking an independent project. It provides incentives to choose research as career.

Department of Science and Technology through fast track scheme for young scientist provide quick research funding to young scientists below 35 years for perusing exciting and innovative research ideas. It gives funding up to Rs. 17 lakhs.

Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana is a scholarship program started in 1999, funded by DST Government of India. It is aimed at encouraging students to take up research career in area of basic sciences, engineering and medicine. It identifies students with talent and aptitude for research and provides scholarship.

We analyzed the STS program as a tool in sensitization of UG medical students toward research activity. The impeding and facilitating factors, while carrying out the research and the effect of UG research experience on student learning and attitude toward research were studied.


  Materials and Methods Top


Undergraduate medical students who had completed STS projects were included in this study (n = 72).

The study was approved by Institutional Ethics Committee. Participants were briefed about the purpose of the survey and assured that the responses will be kept confidential and used for medical education research purpose only.

Data was collected through pretested and validated questionnaire. During submission of the questionnaire, students were interviewed. It was predominantly qualitative data which was analyzed using thematic approach. Likert scale was applied wherever necessary and responses were analyzed.


  Results Top


Short term studentship program was initiated in this institute since year 2005. Total 116 projects were selected by ICMR up to the year 2013. Out of these, 72 students participated in present study. In our institute, highest number of STS projects was from the Department of Community Medicine, mostly community based [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Department wise data of the students involved in Indian Council of Medical Research-short term studentship projects

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Remaining students were unavailable as they had left the college after completion of UG degree.

Out of 116 students there were 32 boys (27.5 %), while 84 girls (72.4%) [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Year and gender wise distribution of students enrolled for short term studentship projects

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Among those who undertook STS projects, 30 (41.7%) did to get oriented toward research, while 20 (27.8%) had interest in research. Incentive by ICMR by way of a modest stipend was the reason in few. Some cited importance of research experience for pursuing studies abroad were the reasons in others [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Reasons for undertaking Indian Council of Medical Researchshort term studentship projects

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The initial source of information about STS program in 91.6% students was mainly the announcement in the class by faculty. The remaining few got the information through internet.

Factors preventing to take up research were analyzed. Students are hesitant mainly due to lack of knowledge. Time constrains and low self confidence were other important factors.

Among those who undertook research, 68 students (94.4%) successfully completed and submitted projects in time, while 4 (5.5%) students were unable to submit the project in time.

Reasons for incomplete projects were lack of awareness about last date of submission and burden of regular studies. Factors attributed to successful completion are shown in [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Factors contributing for successful completion of the short term studentship projects

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About 29.4% students presented their work in the conferences as a oral or poster presentation; 23.5% students did both presentation and publication in medical journals. Total 29 (41%) students were unable to present or publish the work done.

In majority of the students that is, 62 (86.1%) the project work was executed smoothly, while in few that is, 10 (13.9%) there were difficulties in the form of large patient size and time management etc.

About 97.2% students felt that the project made a difference in understanding the concerned subject and created interest in the subject. The research experience of STS project showed a positive change in their attitude [Figure 5]. There were about 97% students who said that they will recommend such project to other students and 94.3% were in favor of redoing such projects in future.
Figure 5: Final impact of the short term studentship project on undergraduate medical students

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  Discussion Top


In India the community based research survey is lacking, [6] however in our institute there are highest number of STS projects from Community Medicine Department, most of which are community based [Figure 1]. Among the gender distribution, there is striking difference with 72.4% female students and 27.5% male student participation [Figure 3]. This to some extent but cannot be fully explained by the higher proportion of girls (girls: boys = 3:2) in the institution. The data generated by ICMR up to year 2010 also shows similar findings. It shows that there were 1134 applications from females as compared to 933 from male students. [7] This may indicate that females have more interest in doing research or research related jobs as compared to males.

The initial source of information about STS program in 91.6% students was mainly the announcement in the class by faculty. This emphasizes the importance of orientation program for students by faculty regarding such activities. The ICMR data says that most of the well-established research institutes are not taking active part in STS program. [7] Our institute has a well laid out scientific protocol for the UG students.

Most of the students wanted to get oriented toward research or had enrolled for this program due to their own interest. The ICMR data also shows that the number of students participating is increasing every year. Though this is a good sign, more student participation should be encouraged.

Some large studies have shown that most of the students have a good attitude, however, there is lack of knowledge about scientific research. This is one of the important barriers inhibiting students from active participation. [8] Our study also supports this view.

The important reason given for timely completion of project was constant support from the guide. This emphasizes the role of teacher as a mentor. Some of the earlier studies have also highlighted its importance. Lot of emphasis should also be given to research experience and training of faculty. [2]

An appreciable number (41%) did not published or present the work in any journal or conference. The reasons were mainly time constraints due to exams as well as lack of motivation. This reemphasizes the need of motivating students to present their work. [5]

Frishman explains that research experience improves skills of student in searching and critically appraising medical literature, which enhances ability to independent learning. [9]

The final impact of the project was increase in knowledge and confidence, orientation toward data collection, analysis, its presentation or publication, becoming more tolerant and understanding the importance and contribution of research in patient care [Figure 5].

Lapatto Professor of Psychology has emphasized many benefits of UG research. According to his view, researchers learn how knowledge is constructed, independence and self-confidence. It is high student experience. [10] Most of our students narrated similar experiences.

Our study includes data from one institution only. A larger study with data collection from various institutions should be carried out. In near future we may extend the work to collect data from various institutions.



 
  References Top

1.
Burgoyne LN, O'Flynn S, Boylan GB. Undergraduate medical research: The student perspective. Med Educ Online 2010 10;15.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sreedharan J. Introduction of a research component in undergraduate medical curriculum: Review of trend. Nepal J Epidemiol 2012;2:200-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Khan H, Khawaja MR, Waheed A, Rauf MA, Fatmi Z. Knowledge and attitudes about health research amongst a group of Pakistani medical students. BMC Med Educ 2006;6:54.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shewan LG, Glatz JA, Bennett CC, Coats AJ. Contemporary (post-Wills) survey of the views of Australian medical researchers: Importance of funding, infrastructure and motivators for a research career. Med J Aust 2005;183:606-11.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Upputuri B, Venugopal S. Undergraduate medical research in India: The missing domain. Nat J Res Com Med 2012;1:69-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Isaacs AN. Strengthening research in community medicine. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:239-40.  Back to cited text no. 6
  Medknow Journal  
7.
Singh M., Mathur R., Muniasami R., Mathur P., Kaur I., Dey S.K, et al. Data analysis and mining to study research aptitude of medical students in India. Bioinformatics centre. ICMR 2010 [email protected]  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Amin T, Kaliyadan F, Al Qattan E, Al Majed M, Al Khanjaf H, Mirza MF, et al. Knowledge, attitudes and barrier related to participation of medical students in research in three Arab Universities. Educ Med J 2012;4:43-53.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Frishman WH. Student research projects and theses: Should they be a requirement for medical school graduation? Heart Dis 2001;3:140-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]    
10.
Lopatto D. Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning Peer Rev 2006;8:22-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


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