Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Research is the future: get involved

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 03 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6525

Rapid Response:

Students are the future: we want to be involved.


Students widely show positivity towards the scientific method and want to be involved in research. [1]

We have the motivation (up to 2 points towards our Foundation Programme Applications worth of motivation no less) and often the time and energy to carry through projects clinicians find themselves too busy to finish.

Furthermore, those students engaged in research report high positivity towards their projects. [2]

But there are a number of barriers to our involvement with medical research as students. By improving interaction with research mentors, and extending the periods of time available for research, students may engage to a higher degree, and regard research even more favourably. [2]

If we are to avoid some of the mistakes you highlight, it may be important to actively involve students in large scale clinical trials early on. After all, we will be leading these trials in the years to come.

It seems medical students enjoy being involved with research, and develop key academic skills, but might just need some help in doing so. If research is the future maybe it should play a greater role in the education of future researchers.

[1] Naing C, Wai VN, Durham J, Whittaker MA, Win NN, Aung K. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Medical Students' Perspectives on the Engagement in Research. July 2015. Medicine (Baltimore).
[2] Chang Y, Ramnanan CJ. A review of literature on medical students and scholarly research: experiences, attitudes, and outcomes. Aug 2015. Acad Med.

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 December 2015
Jacob D King
Medical Student
Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, UK.