Are research training requirements for Australian specialist trainees appropriate?

Paulie Stehlik, Peter Fawzy, Isaac Narouz, Caitlin Brandenburg, Christy Noble, David A Henry, Paul P Glasziou

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Patients do better in research-intense environments. The importance of research is reflected in the medical trainee program accreditation requirements. However, the nature of college mandated research development, including scholarly projects, has not been systematically explored.
We aimed to examine the research development curricula of Australian medical colleges and the stages of research engagement


We mapped the curricula of Australian medical colleges and their subspecialties, reviewing all publicly accessible information from college websites, including curricula, handbooks, and assessment-related documents. Research-related activities were coded as learning outcomes, learning activities, or assessments; and by research stage (using, participating in, or leading research). We coded
learning and assessment activities by type (formal research training, thesis, publication, etc.), whether it was mandatory and/or repeated, linked to a scholarly project, and the project supervisor’s research experience.


55 of 58 Australian colleges and sub-specialty divisions had a scholarly project requirement; but only 11 required formal research training and only two colleges required a research experienced project supervisor. Colleges emphasised leading research in their learning objectives and assessments, but not
learning activities. Less emphasis was placed on using research, and almost no emphasis on participation. Overall, most learning and assessment activities related to completion of a scholarly project.


It is concerning that colleges place emphasis on leading research and research deliverables, but not research training and supervision by suitably qualified staff.
Colleges may be indirectly contributing to the growing reproducibility crisis and wastage in medical research but are also well positioned to improve research quality and reduce waste.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2019
EventGold Coast Health Research Week Conference 2019 - Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 201922 Nov 2019


ConferenceGold Coast Health Research Week Conference 2019
OtherThe annual Gold Coast Health Research Week Conference is a key platform for Health and Medical research on the Gold Coast. The conference aims to showcase the outcomes of research, highlight its role in effecting positive change and to grow and support Gold Coast Health's emerging research presence.

The event will provide a stage for researchers across Gold Coast Health and it's University partners to present their research in the form of a series of Abstract presentations and Poster displays spread across the two day event, culminating in an awards presentation for best research presentation in each category.

Keynote speakers and panel sessions across the event will explore the topics of 'Engaging Consumers in Research', 'University Partnerships', 'Research Waste', 'Clinical Trials - The Changing Regulatory Landscape'


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