Surgical research and training: Is it time to consider intercalated higher degrees?

Bolger, J., McNamara, F. and Hill, A. D. K. (2013) Surgical research and training: Is it time to consider intercalated higher degrees? S341. ISSN 0021-1265


Introduction: Surgical training in Ireland is evolving. Recent changes have eliminated 'gap' years between basic and higher surgical training, where candidates typically attained a higher degree. A number ofUK universities now have formal intercalated MB/PhD programmes where students attain a PhD as part of their medical education. Should a similar programme be introduced for Irish students to train the next generation of academic surgeons? Aims: To survey attitudes among students towards surgical careers and the prospect of undertaking a research degree while at medical school. Methods: 434 undergraduate intermediate cycle students (year 2 and 3) were surveyed at RCSI using 5-point Likert scales to determine the factors influencing the choice of a surgical career, and their attitudes to research. Results: 77 % of students were considering a career in surgery. There was no difference in gender distribution. Factors influencing choosing surgery were identification of a surgical mentor (p = 0.0001), perceived prestige (p = 0.0001), financial reward (p = 0.008) and research opportunities (p = 0.002). Factors discouraging a surgical career were family and social demands (p = 0.002), long hours as a consultant (p = 0.01) and length of training (p = 0.04). 84 % of students said research was important or very important for their future career. 26 % of students would consider or strongly consider doing an intercalated PhD. These students rated the importance of research significantly higher (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Factors deterring students from a surgical career remain length of training, long hours and social demands. Most students recognise that research remains important and a significant proportion would consider an intercalated PhD.

[thumbnail of Irish Journal of Medical Science 2013.pdf]
Irish Journal of Medical Science 2013.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

View Item