Importance of basic research in the academic training of health science students
I have been pleasantly impressed by the initiative to include as a topic of consideration, in the Interamerican Journal of Health Sciences, the importance of basic research in the academic training of health sciences students.
There is no doubt that the construction of knowledge in the medical sciences is a complex process in continuous transformation, which is born and develops from the basic sciences. The creation of new knowledge at this level is carried out through scientific research, which is why the participation of students in basic research constitutes an optimal instance of training for their subsequent and gradual integration into clinical, epidemiological or technological research projects.
Basic research initiates health science students in learning a range of skills and new knowledge that stimulates critical thinking, curiosity and creativity. It is a powerful formative process, as creative inspiration for clinical and technological application arises from basic research. Basic science training enables the transfer of appropriately trained talent to the field of technology and the clinic. The most successful entrepreneurial initiatives of recent times have originated in basic research work that has matured in universities and research centres, both public and private. Basic science is necessary for the progress of a country and there is every reason to promote the formation of professionals with training in basic research, starting from the student stage at university. This is something that many of us value, for which we have fought and continue to fight.
In relation to the above, it is also necessary for medical science degrees to consider revising their curricular designs. The inclusion of research activity in the curriculum should be organised systematically, taking into account the degree of mastery of the scientific method by the students and their object of work, in order to contribute to the formation of a scientific attitude during their studies, which favours the development of new cognitive interests and motivation for research. Research is considered to be "the highest expression of the ability that a student must master in any kind of educational process". Therefore, student scientific activity should be a determining factor in the scientific-technical and comprehensive education of university students.
It has been shown that health science students who start early in basic research are later very productive in the clinical and scientific field, as well as in the field of public health, demonstrating strong skills to generate, share, publish and apply new knowledge in health.
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