A national survey of attitudes to research in Scottish General Surgery Trainees

C. S. Roxburgh (Corresponding Author), C. H. Richards, S. O'Neill, G. Ramsay, R. Velineni, A. J. Robson, D. G. Watt, D. Mittapalli, J. A. Milburn, A. G. Robertson, N. B. Jamieson, Scottish Surgical Research Group

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Given the importance placed on awareness and participation in research by Speciality and Training organisations, we sought to survey Scottish trainee attitudes to exposure to research practice during training and research in or out of programme. Methods: An online survey was distributed to core and specialist trainees in general surgery in Scotland. Results: Over a 4-month period, 108 trainees (75 ST/SPRs and 33 CTs) completed the survey. In their current post, most were aware of ongoing research projects (77%) and 55% were aware of trial recruitment. Only 47% attend regular journal clubs. Most believe that they are expected to present (89%) and publish (82%) during training. Most (59%) thought that participation in research is well supported. 57% were advised to undertake time out of programme research, mostly by consultants (48%) and training committee (36%). Of the 57 with time out of programme research experience, most did so in early training (37%) or between ST3-5 (47%). 28 out of the 36 (78%) without a national training number secured one after starting research. Most undertook research in a local academic unit (80%) funded by small grants (47%) or internally (33%). Most research (69%) was clinically orientated (13/55 clinical, 25/55 translational). 56% of those completing time out of programme research obtained an MD or PhD. About 91% thought that research was relevant to a surgical career. Conclusions: Most trainees believe that research is an important part of training. Generally, most trainees are exposed to research practices including trial recruitment. However, <50% attend regular journal clubs, a pertinent point, given the current 'exit exam' includes the assessment of critical appraisal skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Attitudes
  • Higher degree
  • Research
  • Surgical training
  • Survey
  • Time-out-of-programme


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