Main Article Content
Objectives: This study aimed to compare changes in medical students’ research practices and perceptions of two cohorts of graduates. Methods: This cross-sectional comparative study was conducted from November 2014 to December 2017 and included the 2015 and 2017 medical graduates of King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A validated self-administrated questionnaire, which included questions about participants’ age and gender, research activities, and obstacles to and motivators for research involvement was used. Results: A total of 484 graduates were included in this study (response rate: 96.8%). A significant difference was found between the 2015 and 2017 graduates who had not started any research project (48.4% versus 35%; P <0.001) and a 20% increase in the 2017 graduates’ confidence in their abilities to start their own projects was observed (P <0.001). Significantly more 2017 graduates were engaged in various research roles, other than 'author', compared to 2015 graduates (71.3% versus 55.4%; P <0.001). Career progression was the main motivator for both the 2015 and 2017 medical graduates to participate in research (79.5%). Reported obstacles to research included a lack of dedicated time for research and methodology training and a shortage of research project opportunities. Conclusion: This study highlights positive changes in attitudes towards and perceptions of research among medical graduates.
Keywords: Medical Students; Research; Professional Practice; Attitude; Perception; Medical Education; Saudi Arabia.