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Epidemiological study of the characteristics of veterinarians who pursue a research career: part I
  1. J. K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD1,
  2. N. P. French, BVSc, MSc, PhD, MRCVS1,
  3. J. L. Fitzpatrick, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS2 and
  4. G. L. Pinchbeck, BVSc, CertEO(Orth), PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1Epidemiology Group, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, Neston, South Wirral CH64 7TE
  2. 2Moredun Research Institute, International Research Centre, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pinchbeck


This retrospective, matched case-control study compared the characteristics of veterinary surgeons employed in veterinary research with those who had never held a research post. The cases were randomly selected from graduates of veterinary schools in Great Britain or Ireland who were employed at universities or institutes that conduct research and who played a major role in veterinary research projects during 2001 to 2003. The controls were veterinary surgeons who had not held any post that was primarily a research post since they graduated. The cases and controls were matched by year of graduation and data were obtained for 173 matched sets. Graduates who were significantly (P<0·05) more likely to have a career involving research included male graduates, graduates who had completed a summer studentship, graduates who had completed an internship, residency or houseman’s programme, graduates who held a veterinary diploma, and graduates who had intended to pursue a career in research or academia when they graduated from veterinary school. A career involving research was significantly (P<0·05) more likely to be associated with full-time employment and a lower salary than a career that did not involve research.

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  • Dr Murray’s present address is Division of Companion Animal Studies, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU

  • Professor French’s present address is Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Studies, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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