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01-02-2016 | Show and Tell | Uitgave 1/2016 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 1/2016

Peer-led live research demonstrations: challenging medical student misconceptions about research

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 1/2016
Stuart O’Connor, Alexander Kenneth Clarke


Modern health care provision is now fundamentally evidence based, meaning competency in academic medicine is integral to medical training. The Integrated Academic Training pathway provides focussed training in this area at a postgraduate level but no such provision exists at an undergraduate level. A number of peer-led academic societies have emerged across the UK to provide education and support for undergraduates but there is little evidence about the type of peer-led interventions that are effective. We report here the findings of one such peer-led organization, the Warwick Academic Medicine Society. We found that traditional educational interventions, including didactic lectures and small-group teaching, are effective at inspiring students regarding academic medicine but poor at translating this enthusiasm into sustained involvement in research. We find this disparity to be centred on misconceptions amongst students regarding the time and skills required to meaningfully contribute to a research project. Further, we introduce the concept of the Live Research Demonstration (LRD), a novel peer-led educational intervention which aims to address these misconceptions and improve involvement of students in research. Initial pilots of the LRD concept have shown significant promise and we recommend a larger trial across multiple localities to confirm its educational benefits.
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