Barriers to research productivity amongst postgraduate trainees: Results from a survey of 333 medical and surgical residents

Document Type



Neurosurgery; Internal Medicine; Medical College Pakistan; Surgery; Community Health Sciences; General Surgery


Purpose: We aimed to determine the perceptions of, barriers to, and predictors of research engagement amongst residents at a national level in Pakistan.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used REDCap for online survey dissemination to residents from 12 institutes accredited by the national accreditation body (College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan) for core medical and surgical specialties. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations between likelihood of publications and participant characteristics.
Results: The response rate was 79% (333/423), with 171 (51%) medical and 162 (49%) surgical residents. The mean ± standard deviation age was 28.8 ± 2.7 years; 137 (41%) were males and 195 (59%) females. More than half the residents, 202 (61%), had received research training, but 189 (57%) scored <33% on basic research knowledge. While most residents agreed on the positive impact of research on their careers (P = .012) and realized that they should be involved in it (P = .33), they also strongly believed that it was difficult to engage in research during training (P < .01). Only 60 (18%) trainees had published a paper in local and 37 (11%) in international journals, respectively. The most significant barriers to conducting research included time limitation due to clinical work, lack of financial support, and unavailability of data (P < .01).
Conclusion: Residents have a positive attitude towards research. However, research engagement among residents is low. Improving research mentorship and creating systems that enable protected time and institutional access to data are needed to increase research output of postgraduate trainees.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Postgraduate Medical Journal