EXPLORING RESEARCH-RELATED CHALLENGES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDENTS AND POST GRADUATE TRAINEES IN PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN

Main Article Content

Salman Zahir
Daniyal Ahmed
Khansa Khan
Muhammad Hamza
Aneela Khan
Sarwat Jahan
Laraib Amin
Somia Mazhar

Keywords

Medical Research, Research Challenges, Post Graduate Trainees, Undergraduate Medical Students, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Abstract

Background: Medical research and its role in healthcare and medical education are of paramount importance. Early exposure to research during undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs can significantly enhance students' scientific skills and knowledge.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the barriers encountered in pursuing research activities by undergraduate medical students and postgraduate trainees in Peshawar, Pakistan.


Methodology: This observational, cross-sectional study was conducted from March to August 2023, involving a total of 1000 participants, comprising 650 undergraduate medical students and 350 postgraduate trainees. Data was collected through questionnaires and Google forms, and the analysis was performed using SPSS version 26. The study focused on demographic information, research experience, and various barriers to research.


Results: A total of 1000 (100%) participants including 650 (65%) undergraduate medical students and 350 (35%) postgraduate trainees were involved in the study. The study found that 46.3% of undergraduate medical students and 68% of postgraduate trainees had prior research experience, with 27.2% of undergraduate medical students and 55.1% of postgraduate trainees having attended a medical research conference. Lack of time was a common barrier cited by both groups (P-Value=0.034), and there were significant differences in perceived barriers related to insufficient research knowledge (P-Value=0.025), scientific complexity(P-Value=0.032), lack of motivation (P-Value=0.031), topic selection (P-Value=0.024), proposal development (P-Value=0.003), statistical analysis(P-Value=0.011), and concerns about sexual harassment in research settings (P-Value=0.000). However, no significant differences were observed in difficulties related to data collection, report drafting, and database restrictions. Institutional and mentor-related barriers were also identified. Additionally, research publications and presentations barriers were also significant.


Conclusion: This study highlights the significant challenges faced by undergraduate medical students and postgraduate trainees in Peshawar, Pakistan when it comes to engaging in research activities. Differences in barriers exist, with negative mentor encounters and curriculum gaps being prominent issues. Institutional barriers such as funding and ethical approval also hinder research efforts.

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