There has been much discussion about the productivity and training value of protected research sessions at specialist registrar (SpR) level. We used questionnaire survey to investigate the research experience of senior psychiatric SpRs and first-year psychiatric consultants in Scotland.
The survey had an 80% response rate. Two-thirds of respondents were able to take protected research sessions, and a similar proportion had published research work during their higher training. Specific difficulties in conducting research are identified and discussed.
Scottish SpRs in psychiatry are usually able to protect research sessions, but experience difficulties with lack of experience, resources and supervision. Almost a third of those near the end of their training have published nothing. It is important to explore options other than research projects to gain relevant research experience.
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