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Med Teach. 2009 Jun;31(6):e254-9.

Medical students' attitudes towards science and involvement in research activities: a comparative study with students from a reformed and a traditional curriculum.

Author information

  • 1Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. susanne.pruskil@charite.de



Little is known about medical students' attitudes towards science and scientific methodology. We aimed to evaluate these attitudes and students' involvement in research activities.


Cross-sectional study comparing fifth-year medical students from the reformed and the traditional curriculum of the Charité University Medical Centre Berlin, Germany. Students filled out a standardised questionnaire containing three domains: research project for a dissertation; self-reported behaviour, knowledge/attitudes towards evidence-based medicine (EBM) and scientific methodology; and attitudes towards science.


Two-thirds of the students had already started research for their dissertation and 70% agreed that reading articles and conducting research was challenging. Reformed curriculum students showed a higher involvement in scientific activities and felt more secure about their own scientific competencies. The odds for involvement in different research activities were significantly higher (odds ratios from 1.8 to 2.4) for students who agreed that 'science enables medical progress' or who felt 'secure in understanding medical articles and statistics' compared with students without these attitudes.


The general attitude towards science and scientific methodology was positive among students from both the traditional and the reformed medical curriculum. Specific attitudes predicted involvement in research activities; however, they should be examined in other settings and student populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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