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Clinical research is a growing part of the academic clinician’s job, and documenting areas of low self-efficacy can inform training initiatives.


182 US academic veterinary clinicians.


A survey of academic veterinary clinicians was distributed to 31 US institutions. Self-efficacy was assessed with a modified Clinical Research Appraisal Instrument–12. The relationship between research self-efficacy and completion of formal research training and years of experience was evaluated.


Respondents were predominantly junior to midcareer faculty. The lowest reported confidence was in performing advanced statistical analyses (3; 0 to 10). Other low-confidence tasks included designing a qualitative methods study (4; 0 to 10), terminating a collaboration that isn’t working (5; 0 to 10), describing a funding agency’s review/award process (5; 0 to 10), establishing a timeline for a grant application (5; 0 to 10), establishing collaborator and consultant agreements (5; 0 to 10), and asking staff to leave the project team (5; 0 to 10). Completion of a formal research training program was significantly associated with improved self-efficacy in many tasks. Years of experience was also associated, especially in project management and interpersonal interactions.


These results highlight the need for targeted training opportunities for academic veterinary clinicians in biostatistical support, qualitative study design methods, and aspects of communication and interpersonal skills that are important for developing and leading effective research teams. Range of confidence suggests that development opportunities in all domains will improve self-efficacy for some clinicians. Future studies should focus on the impact of formal training sessions on various domains of self-efficacy and on targeted mentoring in supporting confidence in more experiential learning domains.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association