Letters to the editor
Medwave 2016 Sep;16(8):e6542 doi: 10.5867/medwave.2016.08.6542

Research and medical students in Chile

Esteban Parra-Valencia, Andrea Urra-Canales

Dear Editor:

It is amazing how many scientific articles are published daily in recognized scientific journals worldwide, a situation that clearly expresses the motivation for research and its importance in the medical task. In this respect, the research work of medical students increasingly takes more relevance [1].

Lately, some articles have shown a low participation of medical students in publications in medical journals, as is the case of Revista Médica de Chile, where only 2.3% of a total of 1014 articles published during the period 2006-2010 included medical students as first authors [2]; a situation that is undoubtedly regrettable.

The causes of low global participation in research are not yet clear, however, some studies show lights regarding the main limitations. It has been reported that lack of time to investigate, not having the opportunity to be part of an investigation [3] are common causes that contribute to not publish, as well as the lack of teaching support and lack of academic incentives [4].

Most curricula of medical career of Chilean universities include research methodology, biostatistics and research project curricular activities, however, many of the projects developed by students do not get published.

In the paradigm of modern medicine, the role of medical schools is vital in designing curricula in line with current demands. The medical student rather than acquiring more knowledge should be its generator, since the research process favors the critical exercise of clinical practice and is an innate ability of human beings [5].


From the editor
The authors originally submitted this article in Spanish and English. The Journal has not copyedited this English version.

Declaration of conflicts of interest
Authors declare no conflicts of interest.

The authors declare not having received any funding whatsoever for writing this letter.

  1. Ávila M, Rodríguez-Restrepo A. La importancia de la investigación en el pregrado de medicina, Medwave 2014;14(10):e6032. | CrossRef |
  2. Araos-Baeriswyl E, Moll-Manzurb C. ¿Cuánto investigan los estudiantes de medicina en pregrado? Rev Med Chile 2015;143(10):1358-1360. | CrossRef |
  3. Mayta-Tristán P, Cartagena-Klein R, Pereyra-Elías R, Portillo A, Rodríguez-Morales A. Apreciación de estudiantes de Medicina latinoamericanos sobre la capacitación universitaria en investigación científica. Rev Med Chile 2013;141(6): 716-722. | CrossRef |
  4. Griffin MF, Hindocha S. Publication practices of medical students at British medical schools: Experience, attitudes and barriers to publish. Medical Teacher. 2011;33(11):e1-e8. | CrossRef |
  5. Santos Hernández J, Investigar: Un quehacer innato del ser humano. Umbral Científico. 2009;15:5-6. | Link |


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