Arch Iran Med. 2017;20(11):665-672.
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Original Article

Medical Science and Research in Iran

Shahin Akhondzadeh 1,2, Asghar Ebadifar 1,3, Monir Baradaran Eftekhari 1 * , Katayoun Falahat 1

1 Deputy for Research and Technology, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
2 Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Dentofacial Deformities Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Monir Baradaran Eftekhari, 13th Floor, Block A, Deputy for Research and Technology, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran. Tel: +98-21-81454184, Fax: +98-21-81455181, Email: Email:


Background: During the last 3 decades, Iran has experienced a rapid population growth and at the same time the health of Iranian people has improved greatly. This achievement was mainly due to training and availability of health manpower, well organized public health network and medical science and research improvement. In this article, we aimed to report the relevant data about the medical science and research situation in Iran and compare them with other countries.

Methods: In this study, after reviewing science development and research indicators in medical sciences with participation of key stakeholders, we selected 3 main hybrid indexes consisting of "Research and Development (R&D) expenditures," "Personnel in Science and Technology sector" and "knowledge generation" for evaluation of medical science and research situation. Data was extracted from reliable databases.

Results: Over the past decade, Iran has achieved significant success in medical sciences and for the first time in 2015 based on Scopus index, Iran ranked first in the number of published scientific papers and number of citations in the region and among all Islamic countries. Also, 2% of the world’s publications belong to Iran. Regarding innovation, the number of Iranian patents submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was 3 and 43 in 2008 and 2013, respectively. In these years, the number of personnel in science and technology sectors including post graduate students, researchers and academic members in universities of medical sciences (UMSs) have increased. The female students in medical sciences field account for about twothirds of all students. Also, women comprise about one-third of faculty members. Since 5 years ago, Iran has had growth in science and technology parks. These achievements were attained in spite of the fact that research spending in Iran was still very low (0.5% of gross domestic product [GDP]) due to economic hardships and sanctions.

Conclusion: Medical science and research development has been at least partially due to health technological development, training and availability of health manpower and improvement of overall health status in Iran compared to other Islamic countries.

Cite this article as: Akhondzadeh S, Ebadifar A, Baradaran Eftekhari M, Falahat K. Medical science and research in Iran. Arch Iran Med. 2017;20(11):665–672.
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First published online: 01 Nov 2017
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