How to get involved in research as a medical student
Participating in research gives students great skills and opportunities. Anna Taylor and Sarah Purdy explain how to get started
- By: Anna Kathryn Taylor, Sarah Purdy
Students often go into medicine because of a desire to help others and improve patients’ physical and mental wellbeing. In the early years of medical school, however, it can seem as if you are not making much difference to patient care. Involvement in research can provide exciting opportunities to work as part of a team, improve career prospects, and most importantly add to the evidence base, leading to better outcomes for patients.
Research is usually multidisciplinary, including clinical academics (medical doctors who spend part of their working life doing research), nurses, patients, scientists, and researchers without a medical background. Involvement in such a team can improve your communication skills and expand your understanding of how a multidisciplinary team works.
Participating in research can also help you to develop skills in writing and critical appraisal through the process of publishing your work. You may be able to present your work at