Over recent years there have been a number of articles in the Psychiatric Bulletin considering the vexed question of research and trainees in psychiatry, most recently the suggestion of ‘research troikas’ by Sims (1992). Although this might work well in teaching hospitals with a reasonable number of academic staff, we see problems for the more peripheral areas. This article addresses these problems particularly as they affect people working outside the main centres. We are not concerned here with what trainees need to know about research, but rather how conducting research fits into their clinical job. We will do this by posing a number of basic questions.
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