Medical student perceptions of research training on patient care during clerkship

MedEdPublish (2016). 2020 May 21:9:107. doi: 10.15694/mep.2020.000107.1. eCollection 2020.


This article was migrated. The article was marked as recommended. Background Health Science Research (HSR) is a pre-clerkship component of the University of Toronto (U of T) MD Program. Through online modules and tutorials, students learn to understand and apply research, and write an original research protocol. This study explored students' perceptions on how HSR prepared them to identify, critically appraise and consume research during clerkship. Methods An online 12-item questionnaire surveyed U of T medical students (Class of 2018) who completed HSR in 2016. Basic descriptive statistics were performed; free text responses were analysed via descriptive thematic analysis. Results Twenty six percent (67/262) of students participated. Approximately half either agreed/strongly agreed that HSR helped them to critically appraise research articles (50.7%, 32/63) and assess applicability of results to patient care (50.8%, 32/63). Three themes emerged: i) desire for increased critical appraisal, ii) producing research less important than consuming research, iii) developing a greater appreciation of research during clerkship. Conclusions Students' perceptions on HSR's value during clerkship were modest; they desired greater focus on learning to be consumers of research. These results will refine HS, and our observations may be useful to other educators, as this type of intervention is not represented in existing literature.

Keywords: Consumer of research; Curriculum development; Evaluation; Evidence-based medicine; Patient care; Undergraduate medical education.