An innovative laboratory research practice supporting an introduction to research methodology in the medical undergraduate curriculum: the students??? perspective


Maria João Martins, Fátima Martel

Science teaching and practice is relevant in several curriculums. We aimed to introduce research methodology to first-year medical students. A research project was developed in Biochemistry II curricular unit, applying conventional laboratory techniques and establishing correlations with concepts developed in theoretical and practical classes from Biochemistry I and/or Biochemistry II. An anonymous questionnaire provided the feedback from students participation in this project (190 out of 278 students responded). The research project and scientific poster designing, writing and oral presentation were found interesting, contributed to create motivation for basic laboratory scientific research and allowed development/improvement of scientific thinking, communication skills and technical and scientific language. Experimental data analysis and discussion done by students as well as an increase in team work capacity had a good impact. The investigation project allowed the application of theoretical knowledge into practical activities and was recommended to be maintained in future years (as opposed to conventional laboratory classes). Science teaching and practice should be considered in the first year of the medical curriculum.