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Why Research Is Important for Medical Students

July 25, 2019
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The way information is being shared is rapidly changing.    People can get all the information that they need in a matter of seconds through the internet. Because of this flooding of information, people are changing their attitudes towards research and education. That is having an impact on medical students.   There is a worldwide decline in the number of so-called physician researchers.  

Research for Medical Students

  Many medical students do not see themselves having a career that emphasizes research. The question is should students be consumers of the products of scientific research only or should they be conducting their own research?    Medical students are already busy as it is. Should they burden themselves with doing research as well?   The answer is yes, medical students should and must engage in research as part of their studies and here are some of the reasons why:  
  1. Research experience in medical school is increasingly becoming an important factor when it comes to obtaining training positions post-graduate. Competition for such training positions are very fierce and having research experience is a distinct advantage.
  2. Research training could also be the first time that students get to write what they think and do so in a coherent and concise manner. This contributes to the development of habits that are crucial in a medical career.
  3. Doing research while in medical school can also encourage the production of papers and research later on. This can help in boosting careers.
  4. It also appears that research-active physicians provide better care to patients.  
  5. Medical doctors must understand and appreciate the research process. They must be able to critically appraise the literature. This is very important today, since patients get all kinds of information through the Internet and when there are so many articles out there, and the majority of them are published without checking for quality and legitimacy, just for money. Doctors must know what is legitimate and what is not, because the patient will ask about things he read in the newspapers, or in journals, or found on the Internet. 
  Given all these benefits, it really is obvious that research is very important for medical students.   So, now that it is clear that research is very important for medical students, how can they be provided with adequate research training?   The main thing that medical schools and training programs should provide students with is protected time during which research can be conducted.   This should be done whether the research is actually a part of a student’s course or is an independent study being undertaken by an individual. Hospitals should also allow their doctors who are recent graduates to conduct research.   Time is not the only thing that should be provided by medical schools and hospitals. Students should also be guided by experienced mentors in order to ensure that they will be getting the best research results possible.    The combination of guaranteed time and experienced mentorship will increase the likelihood of research outputs that are of high quality. Students should also be encouraged to get research degrees.  

How Saint James School of Medicine Promotes Research

  So, how can Saint James School of Medicine help when it comes to research?   Students get the opportunity to do research and Get essential and enduring knowledge in medicine. These are the things that you will get from research in SJSM:  
  • Unique learning opportunity.
  • Opportunity to be part of a team.
  • The opportunity to apply what you learned in class.
  • Strengthen your residency application. 
  • Intellectual challenge.
  • Close work with faculty members, practicing physicians and PhDs.
  • The opportunity to publish your research in respectable journals.
  • Opportunity to present your research at respectable scientific conferences.
  At the end of the day, becoming a doctor today means a life that will be spent in study. Part of that study should be devoted to serious medical and scientific research.   Modern technology has made innovations in the way that people learn but it has also come with obvious challenges. It is up to the students and the medical schools to make sure that they meet those challenges head on and one of those challenges is to conduct adequate research because, as we have seen, physicians who have experience in research provide better care for patients.   Research in medicine is not only laboratory work. It is lifelong learning. It is never ending looking for evidence, it is the retrieval of information, it is a critical analysis of the literature, and many many more.
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