The attitude of undergraduate medical students towards research: A case study from two medical colleges in Maharashtra, India

Mark A. Dsouza, Tanya Balakrishnan, Manan Vora, Bryan M. Pereira, Devashish Palkar, Babar Zaman, Rajiv Khandekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the present study we evaluate the attitudes, perceptions and perceived barriers towards research among undergraduate medical students in India. The study enrolled 382 students from two medical colleges in Maharashtra, India. The study duration was from January 2016 to March 2016. Each student completed an anonymous on-line survey with 22 closed-ended questions. The survey was designed to assess student attitudes towards research as well as perceived barriers and participation in research. Responses were scored on a five-point Likert scale. The study sample was comprised of 241 (63%) females and 141(37%) males. Among these, 202 (53%) students were enrolled in a government medical college and 178 (46.5%) in a private medical college; 2 students did not identify the type of college and were excluded. Fifth-year medical students comprised the highest number of participants at 105 (27.5%). Thirty-two per cent of the entire study sample indicated that they had participated in a research project, while the rest of the students had not. Over 60% of students indicated that they had access to mentors. A positive attitude towards research was reported by 94.7% students. There was no statistical difference between genders in attitude or perceived barriers to research (P = 0.06 and P = 0.6 respectively). There was a significantly greater positive attitude towards research in the senior years of medical college (years 1-3 and years 4-5; P = 0.0006). The perceived barriers were time constraint (45%) and inadequate training for research (50%). The majority of medical students understood the necessity for research and had a positive attitude towards the same. The perceived barriers to research such as time constraint and inadequate training need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1134
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Attitudes perceptions
  • Barriers
  • Medical research
  • Undergraduate students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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