Hickling, Frederick W.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry
Medical research at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, Mona Campus 1960-1990
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The objective of this study was to evaluate research output in relation to undergraduate teaching output of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus, University of the West Indies between 1960 and 1990. The departmental reports published by the University of the West Indies were examined using a successive independent sample design with sentinel years at ten-year intervals for the 30-year period under review. The numbers of reported peer-reviewed publications for each department were disaggregated and analysed. Ten of the fourteen departments (10/14, 72%) of the Mona Faculty showed a decline in output of peer-reviewed publications of up to 100% between 1960 and 1990 (p < 0.001). The number of academic staff had risen from 41 in 1960 to 143 in 1990 (249%) while the publication/staff ratio had fallen from 1.73 in 1960 to 0.48 in 1990 (p < 0.0001). Student/staff ratios had declined significantly over the 30-year period (p < 0.005) as had the graduate/staff ratio (p < 0.01). The Faculty reports indicated that the research-in-progress reported far exceeded the actual publication rate in 1990, whereas the opposite was the case in 1960. There was a statistically significant decline in the number of international conference abstracts published and an increase in the number of regional conference abstracts (p < 0.01) and also a significant decrease in the number of papers presented at conferences compared with the number of conferences attended without a paper being presented (p < 0.0001). The research publication record and the medical graduate/staff ratio of the Mona Faculty had declined significantly over the 30 years under review. There was also a significant decline in the graduate/staff ratio in the same period. Some of the conventional reasons given for this decline such as staff shortages and increased clinical service or teaching load are discussed.....