Trainees beginning their careers in psychiatry sometimes view research as an additional hurdle that they have to surmount in order to gain senior registrar or consultant status. Conversely, research enthusiasts may see research as an exciting and rewarding activity which enriches and informs clinical practice. The aim of this article is to strike a balance between these two divergent views to help trainees in their selection of the research option most suited to their temperament and aspirations. As a result of our own experiences of full-time and part-time research, in addition to research conducted during full-time clinical posts, we intend this article to be practically rather than theoretically orientated.
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