Improving physician research training: understanding the student perspective

Jacqueline Knapke, Erin N. Haynes, Lisa M. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Using a mixed-methods approach, this study evaluated a Master of Science program in Clinical and Translational Research (MSCTR) geared toward training physicians in research methodology. The purpose of this study is to allow trainees to articulate their expectations, needs and experiences in the MSCTR and to develop novel training methods and/or curriculum modifications to improve physician-scholar training. Design/methodology/approach: The mixed-method study design with qualitative emphasis included interviews, participant journal entries and a survey. Interview and journal entry data were analyzed using a modified seven-stage hermeneutic analysis and survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings: Findings suggest three major areas for improvement, namely, curriculum, mentorship/relationships and instructional methods. Concluding recommendations to address these three areas include: make ongoing curriculum updates to provide a sequential pathway but also allow for flexibility, improve statistical training, invest in online courses and create a more structured mentorship program. Originality/value: Extant research, though minimal, has evaluated clinical research training programs in terms of alumni productivity. However, this is the first study of its kind to examine a clinical research training program primarily qualitatively and from the perspective of its students and alumni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • CTSA
  • Clinical and translational research
  • Physician-scientist training
  • Program evaluation
  • Research education
  • Research training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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