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The importance of scientific competencies in German medical curricula - the student perspective

Ratte, Antonius, Drees, Simon and Schmidt-Ott, Tabea (2018) The importance of scientific competencies in German medical curricula - the student perspective. BMC Medical Education, 18 (146). ISSN 1472-6920

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12909-018-1257-4


Background Scientific competencies are of great importance for physicians; not only for conducting reliable research, but also for patient care. However, there is growing concern that a lack of scientific competencies among physicians may lead to a deterioration in the quality on biomedical research. This study aims at assessing medical students’ perspectives on the implementation of scientific competency training in German medical curricula. Methods An online survey was conducted in order to collect German medical students’ opinions on the importance of acquiring scientific competencies during their medical studies and to provide us with an assessment of their current levels of basic scientific competencies by having them conduct a self-evaluation. Moreover, we wanted to understand their perceptions of current curricular content and to receive suggestions for improving scientific competency training. Participants were reached via the mailing lists of the German Medical Students’ Association, as well as of local medical student committees, and the German Medical Students’ Associations social media channel on Facebook. Results In total, 2380 medical students from across all 37 German medical faculties participated in the survey. The majority of students agreed that the ability to critically evaluate the relevant literature is an important competency for physicians, and that every student should conduct a research project during their medical studies. However, the students evaluated their scientific competencies as unsatisfactory, especially with regard to statistics and scientific writing. They were strongly in favor of receiving extended research training. Conclusion Our study provides insight into German medical students’ self-perception in relation to both patient care and biomedical research, and makes recommendations for potential improvements in scientific training. The study demonstrates that scientific competencies are of great importance to medical students in Germany. Students are not lacking motivation for scientific practice and have numerous ideas for enhancing scientific teaching opportunities. Scientific training should follow a holistic approach based on three pillars: (i) a scientific core curriculum, (ii) intracurricular research projects, and (iii) special research programs for students strongly interested in medical research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 the Author(s)
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 10:56
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 03:21

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