Trainees in psychiatry are encouraged to become involved in research during their training (Sims, 1988). As Crisp (1990) points out, research skills are basic to a number of attributes such as problem solving abilities, consultation skills, self-audit, and the audit of others. Both the College and senior registrar appointment committees seem to value some research experience as it demands persistence, as well as the ability to think both creatively and logically. The College does provide a research option for the MRCPsych Part II, but this is only chosen by a minority of candidates. In addition the College runs its own course. Nevertheless, many trainees find it very difficult to know how to set about research unless they have previous experience or their job specifically involves research.
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