The study sought to identify and characterise barriers to research for Canadian diagnostic radiology residents and suggest potential solutions to enhance future research success.
Institutional research board approval was obtained. Electronic surveys were solicited from all postgraduate year 2-5 diagnostic radiology residents at all 16 programs across Canada. The survey focused on key factors inhibiting research during training.
Of all 400 Canadian diagnostic radiology residents, 88 (22%) responded. Of respondents, 86% reported research experience before residency, with 19% holding a nonphysician graduate degree. All indicated that research was a requirement for completion of their residency. The most important reported factors limiting resident research were time constraints (67%), personal disinterest (32%), and inadequate mentorship (32%). Although 44% reported dedicated residency program research training, 40% reported no such opportunities. Among the various time constraints, respondents cited studying demands (61%), on-call demands (52%), and daily clinical duties (38%) as strong or significant barriers to research. Most (63%) indicated their program provided at least some protected research time, but 21% were not aware of such protected time availability. When available, protected research time was modest, and ranged from 0.5 days/month to 3 months, with the majority of respondents citing 1 month of protected research time.
Diagnostic radiology residents in Canada report numerous barriers to research. Programs seeking to enhance radiology research should focus on providing appropriate training, protected time, and mentorship.