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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1994 May;76(3 Suppl):121-3.

Research in surgical training: the trainees' experience.

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North Middlesex Hospital.


Research projects culminating in a higher surgical degree are now an almost inevitable part of training in general surgery. However, little information exists on the trainees' experience of research. Fifty-nine general surgical trainees (39 registrars and 20 senior registrars) from the North East Thames region completed a confidential questionnaire which addressed various aspects of surgical research. While the benefits of training in research were accepted by the majority of trainees, many expressed reservations about the current practice of 'research by experience' and the need for a higher surgical degree. A one-year period of structured training in research methods with the emphasis on educational content, rather than the production of a thesis, would be a popular alternative. There was a highly significant correlation between the degree of satisfaction with project supervision and the subsequent impression of the value of research (Spearman's rho = 0.54, p < 0.001) stressing the crucial role of the research supervisor. Significant variability in satisfaction with research supervision was noted between the various research centres in the region suggesting a need for closer external monitoring of research posts.

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