Belal Nedal Sabbah, Hassan Yousaf Shah, Eman Javed Baqal, Tarek Ziad Arabi, Ismail Mohammed Shakir, Akef Obeidat, Khaled Alkattan, Mohammad Raihan Sajid

Beyond the Curriculum: Unveiling Medical Students' Drivers and Barriers to Research Participation at Alfaisal University

  • General Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Education

Medical education continually adapts to the needs of future healthcare professionals, with student motivation in research being a pivotal aspect. This study at Alfaisal University (AU) aimed to explore the motivations, benefits, and challenges faced by medical students in extracurricular research activities. Using a mixed-method approach, we combined quantitative surveys with qualitative group interviews. Findings revealed that both extrinsic (e.g., enhancing post-graduate training prospects) and intrinsic factors (e.g., personal interest and skill refinement) significantly motivate students to be involved in research activities. Participants unanimously acknowledged skill enhancement, particularly in literature comprehension, creative ideation, and networking. However, challenges such as conflicts with course scheduling, lack of hands-on experiences, and mentorship issues were identified as potential barriers to research participation. Addressing these barriers and understanding motivations can inform the design of research programs, enhancing the overall student research experience. This study underscores the importance of research in medical education, emphasizing the need for institutions to prioritize addressing challenges and leveraging benefits to prepare medical students for a research-integrated clinical future.

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