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Br J Urol. 1998 Feb;81(2):193-8.

The contribution of research to urological training in the United Kingdom.

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Department of Urology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK.



To report the findings of a questionnaire survey among consultant urologists in the United Kingdom (UK) designed to examine their personal experience of research and their opinion of its contribution in urological training.


A questionnaire was sent to 205 consultant urologists in the UK and 154 (75%) replied. Their replies were examined to ascertain the time spent in research, the production of publications, presentations and in gaining a higher university degree. Subsequent research activity was also related to the achievement of these endpoints.


Among the 154 consultant urologists who replied. 130 (84%) had undertaken research during their training, for a period varying from 6 months to more than 2 years. Among the 130, 99 (76%) considered this to have been well spent; 76 (58%) obtained a higher degree, 86 (66%) achieved at least three publications in peer-reviewed journals and 90 (69%) had given at least five presentations to learned societies. Inadequate supervision in particular was cited as contributing to underachievement and motivation was also considered important to success.


The contribution of research in urological training has been assessed traditionally by the presentation of a thesis to a university for a higher degree, but alternative methods of assessment should perhaps be sought for those wishing to spend less than 18 months in research.

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