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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 97-100

Why German Medical Students Abandon Dissertations

1 Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, University of Wuerzburg, Versbacher Str. 5, D-97080 Wuerzburg, Germany
2 Department of Anatomy, University of Wuerzburg, Koellikerstr. 6, D-97070 Wuerzburg, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Claudius Diez
Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, University ofWuerzburg, Versbacher Str. 5, D-97080 Wuerzburg
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In Germany, conducting a research project followed by writing a thesis is necessary to receive the title "Doctor" but is not necessary to work as a physician. To determine the reasons that students abandon their dissertations, we conducted and analyzed a survey among 160 fifth- and sixth-year medical students at the University of Wuerzburg. Fifteen of 160 respondents (9%) reported to have stopped working on their original project before starting their current replacement thesis research project. Among these 15, the major reasons for abandoning the original research project were: seven (47%) reported lack of supervision, three (20%) reported no recognizable progress, and another three (20%) reported an unacceptable burden of work. Unfamiliarity with experimental methods led two students (13%) to stop working on their original research project. Close supervision and a thorough training remain necessary to prevent students from abandoning medical dissertations and thus should be an essential part of every research project in which medical students are involved.

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