Experiences with pre-graduate research among Danish medical students and doctors

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INTRODUCTION. Pre-graduate research is popular among medical students. Concerns about time constraints and lack of mentorship have been raised in international studies. The extent to which these issues affect Danish medical students remains unclear. We therefore aimed to assess the conditions and outcomes of pre-graduate research among medical students from the University of Copenhagen. METHODS. A descriptive, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey on experiences from pre-graduate research was distributed to medical students and recently graduated medical doctors from the University of Copenhagen who had engaged in full-time pre-graduate research. The survey covered 1) working hours and income, 2) publications and authorship and 3) work environment and well-being. RESULTS. A total of 437 pre-graduate researchers participated in the survey. Pre-graduate research often involved a period outside of medical school (88%) and typically lasted a year (56%), with clinical research being the most common focus (68%). Almost a third worked longer hours (29%) than agreed and additional hours were commonly provided after the research period. Scholarships of 10,000 DKK a month were the primary source of income (72%). Most participants achieved their publication goals (62%) and experiences on work environment and well-being were generally positive. CONCLUSION. Pre-graduate research provides a conducive environment for medical students to engage in scientific research. Hovewer, engaging in pre-graduate research entails long working hours, is inadequately remunerated and often requires students to take leave from medical school. FUNDING. None. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA09230610
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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