10-15% of students struggle at some point in their medicine course. Risk factors include weaker academic qualifications, male gender, mental illness, UK ethnic minority status, and poor study skills. Recent research on an undergraduate medicine course provided a toolkit to aid early identification of students likely to struggle, who can be targeted by established support and study interventions. The present study sought to extend this work by investigating the number and characteristics of strugglers on a graduate-entry medicine (GEM) programme.
A retrospective study of four GEM entry cohorts (2003–6) was carried out. All students who had demonstrated unsatisfactory progress or left prematurely were included. Any information about academic, administrative, personal, or social difficulties, were extracted from their course progress files into a customised database and examined.
362 students were admitted to the course, and 53 (14.6%) were identified for the study, of whom 15 (4.1%) did not complete the course. Students in the study group differed from the others in having a higher proportion of 2ii first degrees, and scoring less well on GAMSAT, an aptitude test used for admission. Within the study group, it proved possible to categorise students into the same groups previously reported (struggler throughout, pre-clinical struggler, clinical struggler, health-related struggler, borderline struggler) and to identify the majority using a number of flags for early difficulties. These flags included: missed attendance, unsatisfactory attitude or behaviour, health problems, social/family problems, failure to complete immunity status checks, and attendance at academic progress committee.
Problems encountered in a graduate-entry medicine course were comparable to those reported in a corresponding undergraduate programme. A toolkit of academic and non-academic flags of difficulty can be used for early identification of many who will struggle, and could be used to target appropriate support and interventions.
Graduate-entry medicine struggler identification flags UK
An earlier study at Nottingham suggested that 10-15% of the medical student intake was likely to fail completely or have substantial problems on the course. This is a problem for the students, the Faculty, and society as a whole. If struggling students could be identified early in the course and additional pastoral resources offered, some of this wastage might be avoided. An exploratory case study was conducted to determine whether there were common indicators in the early years, over and above academic failure, that might aid the identification of students potentially at risk.
The study group was drawn from five successive cohorts. Students who had experienced difficulties were identified in any of four ways: from Minutes of the Academic Progress Committee; by scanning examination lists at key stages (end of the first two years, and finals at the end of the clinical course); from lists of students flagged to the Postgraduate Deanery as in need of extra monitoring or support; and from progress files of those who had left the course prematurely. Relevant data were extracted from each student's course progress file into a customised database.
1188 students were admitted over the five years. 162 (14%) were identified for the study, 75 of whom had failed to complete the course by October 2010. In the 87 who did graduate, a combination of markers in Years 1 and 2 identified over half of those who would subsequently have the most severe problems throughout the course. This 'toolkit' comprised failure of 3 or more examinations per year, an overall average of <50%, health or social difficulties, failure to complete Hepatitis B vaccination on time, and remarks noted about poor attitude or behaviour.
A simple toolkit of academic and non-academic markers could be used routinely to help identify potential strugglers at an early stage, enabling additional support and guidance to be given to these students.
The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) was introduced in 2006 as an additional tool for the selection of medical students. It tests mental ability in four distinct domains (Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Decision Analysis), and the results are available to students and admissions panels in advance of the selection process. As yet the predictive validity of the test against course performance is largely unknown.
The study objective was to determine whether UKCAT scores predict performance during the first two years of the 5-year undergraduate medical course at Nottingham.
We studied a single cohort of students, who entered Nottingham Medical School in October 2007 and had taken the UKCAT. We used linear regression analysis to identify independent predictors of marks for different parts of the 2-year preclinical course.
Data were available for 204/260 (78%) of the entry cohort. The UKCAT total score had little predictive value. Quantitative Reasoning was a significant independent predictor of course marks in Theme A ('The Cell'), (p = 0.005), and Verbal Reasoning predicted Theme C ('The Community') (p < 0.001), but otherwise the effects were slight or non-existent.
This limited study from a single entry cohort at one medical school suggests that the predictive value of the UKCAT, particularly the total score, is low. Section scores may predict success in specific types of course assessment.
The ultimate test of validity will not be available for some years, when current cohorts of students graduate. However, if this test of mental ability does not predict preclinical performance, it is arguably less likely to predict the outcome in the clinical years. Further research from medical schools with different types of curriculum and assessment is needed, with longitudinal studies throughout the course.
It has been suggested that studying non-science subjects at A-level should be compulsory for medical students. Our admissions criteria specify only Biology, Chemistry and one or more additional subjects. This study aimed to determine whether studying a non-science subject for A-level is an independent predictor of achievement on the undergraduate medical course.
The subjects of this retrospective cohort study were 164 students from one entry-year group (October 2000), who progressed normally on the 5-year undergraduate medical course at Nottingham. Pre-admission academic and socio-demographic data and undergraduate course marks were obtained. T-test and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were undertaken to identify independent predictors of five course outcomes at different stages throughout the course.
There was no evidence that the choice of science or non-science as the third or fourth A-level subject had any influence on course performance. Demographic variables (age group, sex, and fee status) had some predictive value but ethnicity did not. Pre-clinical course performance was the strongest predictor in the clinical phases (pre-clinical Themes A&B (knowledge) predicted Clinical Knowledge, p < 0.001, and pre-clinical Themes C&D (skills) predicted Clinical Skills, p = < 0.01).
This study of one year group at Nottingham Medical School provided no evidence that the admissions policy on A-level requirements should specify the choice of third or fourth subject.
Students who entered their freshman year for the first time in 1958 and in 1959, from all medical schools in Canada, and those entering the four Western schools in 1960 were studied from the time they matriculated until they either graduated or withdrew from medical school. The rate of attrition is about 15% of matriculants each year, with the lowest rate at the University of Western Ontario (1.7%) and the highest at the University of Ottawa (33.6%) over the time period studied. Attrition was classified as academic and non-academic. Significantly higher rates were found in the case of non-academic attrition for women and in the case of academic attrition for Commonwealth students. Significantly higher rates for both types of attrition were found for older students and students who had attended undergraduate colleges different from their medical school colleges. It would appear from available statistics that the factors which combine to produce attrition are the intellectual and personality characteristics of the student, school promotional policies and evaluation methods.
Students who fail to thrive on the Nottingham undergraduate medical course frequently suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental health problems. These difficulties may be the cause, or the result of, academic struggling. Early detection of vulnerable students might direct pastoral care and remedial support to where it is needed. We investigated the use of the short-form General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) as a possible screening tool.
Two consecutive cohorts (2006 and 2007) were invited to complete the GHQ-12. The questionnaire was administered online, during the second semester (after semester 1 exams) for the 2006 cohort and during the first semester for the 2007 cohort. All data were held securely and confidentially. At the end of the course, GHQ scores were examined in relation to course progress.
251 students entered the course in 2006 and 254 in 2007; 164 (65%) and 160 (63%), respectively, completed the GHQ-12. In both cohorts, the study and non-study groups were very similar in terms of pre-admission socio-demographic characteristics and overall course marks. In the 2006 study group, the GHQ Likert score obtained part-way through the first year was negatively correlated with exam marks during Years 1 and 2, but the average exam mark in semester 1 was the sole independent predictor of marks in semester 2 and Year 2. No correlations were found for the 2007 study group but the GHQ score was a weak positive predictor of marks in semester 2, with semester 1 average exam mark again being the strongest predictor. A post-hoc moderated-mediation analysis suggested that significant negative associations of GHQ scores with semester 1 and 2 exams applied only to those who completed the GHQ after their semester 1 exams. Students who were identified as GHQ ‘cases’ in the 2006 group were statistically less likely to complete the course on time (OR = 4.74, p 0.002). There was a non-significant trend in the same direction in the 2007 group.
Results from two cohorts provide insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of the GHQ-12 as a screening tool. The timing of administration could have a critical influence on the results, and the theoretical and practical implications of this finding are discussed. Low marks in semester 1 examinations seem be the best single indicator of students at risk for subsequent poor performance.
This article provides an overview of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Pipeline Neuroscience Program, a multi-tiered mentorship and education program for Philadelphia high school students in which University of Pennsylvania undergraduates are integrally involved. The Pipeline Neuroscience Program provides mentorship and education for students at all levels. High school students are taught by undergraduates, who learn from medical students who, in turn, are guided by neurology residents and fellows.
Throughout a semester-long course, undergraduates receive instruction in neuroanatomy, neuroscience, and clinical neurology as part of the Pipeline’s case-based curriculum. During weekly classes, undergraduates make the transition from students to community educators by integrating their new knowledge into lesson plans that they teach to small groups of medically and academically underrepresented Philadelphia high school students. The Pipeline program thus achieves the dual goals of educating undergraduates about neuroscience and providing them with an opportunity to perform community service.
community educators; mentoring; community service; service learning; case-based curriculum; neuroscience; neuroanatomy; clinical neurology
At Nottingham University more than 95% of entrants to the traditional 5-year medical course are school leavers. Since 2003 we have admitted graduate entrants (GEM) to a shortened (4-year) course to 'widen access to students from more disadvantaged backgrounds'. We have recently shown that the GEM course widens academic and socio-demographic diversity of the medical student population. This study explored whether GEM students also bring psychological diversity and whether this could be beneficial.
We studied: a) 217 and 96 applicants to the Nottingham 5- and 4-year courses respectively, applying in the 2002-3 UCAS cycle, and, b) 246 school leavers starting the 5-year course and 39 graduate entrants to the 4-year course in October 2003. The psychological profiles of the two groups of applicants and two groups of entrants were compared using their performance in the Goldberg 'Big 5' Personality test, the Personal Qualities Assessment (PQA; measuring interpersonal traits and interpersonal values), and the Lovibond and Lovibond measure of depression, anxiety and stress. For the comparison of the Entrants we excluded the 33 school leavers and seven graduates who took the tests as Applicants.
Statistical analyses were undertaken using SPSS software (version 16.0).
Graduate applicants compared to school leaver applicants were significantly more conscientious, more confident, more self controlled, more communitarian in moral orientation and less anxious. Only one of these differences was preserved in the entrants with graduates being less anxious. However, the graduate entrants were significantly less empathetic and conscientious than the school leavers.
This study has shown that school leaver and graduate entrants to medical school differ in some psychological characteristics. However, if confirmed in other studies and if they were manifest in the extreme, not all the traits brought by graduates would be desirable for someone aiming for a medical career.
To compare the academic performance of students who entered family medicine residency programs with that of students who entered other disciplines and discern whether or not family physicians are as academically talented as their colleagues in other specialties.
Retrospective quantitative study.
University of Calgary in Alberta.
Three graduating classes of students (2004 to 2006) from the University of Calgary medical school.
Main outcome measures
Student performance on various undergraduate certifying examinations in years 1, 2, and 3, along with third-year in-training evaluation reports and total score on the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I.
Complete data were available for 99% of graduates (N = 295). In the analysis, residency program (family medicine [n = 96] versus non–family medicine [n = 199]) served as the independent variable. Using a 1-way multivariate ANOVA (analysis of variance), no significant difference among any of the mean performance scores was observed (F5289 = 1.73, P > .05). Students who entered family medicine were also well represented within the top 10 rankings of the various performance measures.
The academic performance of students who pursued careers in family medicine did not differ from that of students who chose other specialties. Unfounded negativity toward family medicine has important societal implications, especially at a time when the gap between the number of family physicians and patients seeking primary care services appears to be widening.
In 1998, a new selection process which utilised an aptitude test and an interview in addition to previous academic achievement was introduced into an Australian undergraduate medical course.
To test the outcomes of the selection criteria over an 11-year period.
1174 students who entered the course from secondary school and who enrolled in the MBBS from 1999 through 2009 were studied in relation to specific course outcomes. Regression analyses using entry scores, sex and age as independent variables were tested for their relative value in predicting subsequent academic performance in the 6-year course. The main outcome measures were assessed by weighted average mark for each academic year level; together with results in specific units, defined as either ‘knowledge'-based or ‘clinically’ based.
Previous academic performance and female sex were the major independent positive predictors of performance in the course. The interview score showed positive predictive power during the latter years of the course and in a range of ‘clinically' based units. This relationship was mediated predominantly by the score for communication skills.
Results support combining prior academic achievement with the assessment of communication skills in a structured interview as selection criteria into this undergraduate medical course.
In 2002 the University of Michigan Medical School created a one-month course in advanced medical therapeutics (AMT). All senior medical students were required to complete the course. To provide some flexibility for students who were interviewing for residency positions the AMT course was created using a distance-learning model, and in the 2008–2009 academic year it was offered in a fully online format. The components of the course are weekly case-based modules, a weekly online seminar, quizzes based on modules and seminars, and a research project based on a therapeutic question. The paper discusses the development and components of the AMT course, a survey of fourth-year medical students who participated in the course between 2007 and 2010, and how the course evolved over three years.
medical students; online course
Medical students report high levels of stress related to their medical training as well as to other personal and financial factors. The aim of this study is to investigate whether there are differences in course-related stressors reported by medical students on undergraduate problem-based learning (PBL) and non-PBL programmes in the UK.
A cross-sectional study of second-year medical students in two UK medical schools (one PBL and one non-PBL programme) was conducted. A 16-question self-report questionnaire, derived from the Perceived Medical Student Stress Scale and the Higher Education Stress Inventory, was used to measure course-related stressors. Following univariate analysis of each stressor between groups, multivariate logistic regression was used to determine which stressors were the best predictors of each course type, while controlling for socio-demographic differences between the groups.
A total of 280 students responded. Compared to the non-PBL students (N = 197), the PBL students (N = 83) were significantly more likely to agree that: they did not know what the faculty expected of them (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.38, p = 0.03); there were too many small group sessions facilitated only by students resulting in an unclear curriculum (OR = 0.04, p < 0.0001); and that there was a lack of opportunity to explore academic subjects of interest (OR = 0.40, p = 0.02). They were significantly more likely to disagree that: there was a lack of encouragement from teachers (OR = 3.11, p = 0.02); and that the medical course fostered a sense of anonymity and feelings of isolation amongst students (OR = 3.42, p = 0.008).
There are significant differences in the perceived course-related stressors affecting medical students on PBL and non-PBL programmes. Course designers and student support services should therefore tailor their work to minimise, or help students cope with, the specific stressors on each course type to ensure optimum learning and wellbeing among our future doctors.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine attitudinal and self reported behavioural variations between medical students in different years to scenarios involving academic misconduct.
Design: A cross-sectional study where students were given an anonymous questionnaire that asked about their attitudes to 14 scenarios describing a fictitious student engaging in acts of academic misconduct and asked them to report their own potential behaviour.
Setting: Dundee Medical School.
Participants: Undergraduate medical students from all five years of the course.
Method: Questionnaire survey.
Main measurements: Differences in medical students' attitudes to the 14 scenarios and their reported potential behaviour with regards to the scenarios in each of the years.
Results: For most of the scenarios there was no significant difference in the response between the years. Significant differences in the responses were found for some of the scenarios across the years, where a larger proportion of year one students regarded the scenario as wrong and would not engage in the behaviour, compared to other years. These scenarios included forging signatures, resubmitting work already completed for another part of the course, and falsifying patient information.
Conclusion: Observed differences between the years for some scenarios may reflect a change in students' attitudes and behaviour as they progress though the course. The results may be influenced by the educational experience of the students, both in terms of the learning environment and assessment methods used. These differences may draw attention to the potential but unintentional pressures placed on medical students to engage in academic misconduct. The importance of developing strategies to engender appropriate attitudes and behaviours at the undergraduate level must be recognised.
Graduate entry medicine is a recent innovation in UK medical training. Evidence is sparse at present as to progress and attainment on these programmes. Shared clinical rotations, between an established 5-year and a new graduate entry course, provide the opportunity to compare achievement on clinical assessments. To compare completion and attainment on clinical phase assessments between students on a 4-year graduate entry course and an established 5-year undergraduate medicine course.
Overall completion rates for the 4 and 5 year courses, fails at first attempt, and scores on 14 clinical assessments, were compared between 171 graduate-entry and 450 undergraduate medical students at the University of Nottingham, comprising two graduating cohorts. Percentage assessment marks were converted to z-scores separately for each graduating year and the normalised marks then combined into a single dataset. Z-score transformed percentage marks were analysed by multivariate analysis of variance and univariate analyses of variance for each summative assessment. Numbers of fails at first attempt were analysed aggregated across all assessments initially, then separately for each assessment using χ2.
Completion rates were around 90% overall and significantly higher in the graduate entry course. Failures of assessments overall were similar, but a higher proportion of graduate entry students failed the final OSLER. Mean performance on clinical assessments showed a significant overall difference, made up of lower performance on 4 of 5 knowledge-based exams (as well as higher performance on the first exam) by the graduate entry group, but similar levels of performance on all the skills-based and attitudinal assessments.
High completion rates are encouraging. The lower performance in some knowledge-based exams may reflect lower prior educational attainment, a substantially different demographic profile (age, gender), or an artefact of the first 2 years of a new graduate entry programme.
The purpose of our study was to use a student-centred approach to develop an online video learning resource (called 'Moo Tube') at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, UK and also to provide guidance for other academics in the School wishing to develop a similar resource in the future.
A focus group in the format of the nominal group technique was used to garner the opinions of 12 undergraduate students (3 from year-1, 4 from year-2 and 5 from year-3). Students generated lists of items in response to key questions, these responses were thematically analysed to generate key themes which were compared between the different year groups. The number of visits to 'Moo Tube' before and after an objective structured practical examination (OSPE) was also analysed to provide data on video usage.
Students highlighted a number of strengths of video resources which can be grouped into four overarching themes: (1) teaching enhancement, (2) accessibility, (3) technical quality and (4) video content. Of these themes, students rated teaching enhancement and accessibility most highly. Video usage was seen to significantly increase (P < 0.05) prior to an examination and significantly decrease (P < 0.05) following the examination.
The students had a positive perception of video usage in higher education. Video usage increases prior to practical examinations. Image quality was a greater concern with year-3 students than with either year-1 or 2 students but all groups highlighted the following as important issues: i) good sound quality, ii) accessibility, including location of videos within electronic libraries, and iii) video content. Based on the findings from this study, guidelines are suggested for those developing undergraduate veterinary videos. We believe that many aspects of our list will have resonance in other areas of medicine education and higher education.
In a study of 60 students who entered the intercalated honours BSc course in pathology at the University of Edinburgh over 10 years the conventional criteria of academic excellence and motivation were shown to be appropriate for the selection of honours students. When compared with classmates who did not take the intercalated year but who had shown similar high academic ability in the preclinical course the students who had taken the honours BSc did better in the remainder of the undergraduate curriculum. Of 42 honours students, 18 (43%) entered academic careers, particularly in pathology and medicine, but there was no observed tendency for students without honours BSc to do so. Although it is impossible to establish a causal relation between taking the honours course and subsequent academic distinction, the results suggest that the intercalated honours BSc in pathology serves a useful function in introducing able students into academic careers. The findings justify the financial support made available to such students during their intercalated year by the Medical Research Council and the Scottish Education Department.
There is increasing interest in integrating population health and informatics topics into the undergraduate medical curriculum, yet little consensus exists on the most effective approach to accomplish this. We introduced the use of an academic data warehouse of encrypted patient information into an existing 2nd year medical school course. Exercises were developed requiring students to retrieve and interpret information regarding local disease prevalence, practice patterns, and patient characteristics. These exercises were integrated into existing weekly problem sets in a multiple-choice format. Faculty and student perceptions were assessed with surveys, and augmented with interviews of student volunteers, and database usage statistics. Our results indicate widespread agreement among both students and faculty that population-based medicine warrants inclusion in undergraduate medical education. The majority of the students felt the exercises complemented the clinical cases around which they were structured. There was less agreement, however, that the exercises were valuable, with several students suggesting a more open-ended, discussion-oriented approach. It was clear that faculty perceptions had a significant impact on student reactions.
The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive potential of multiple indicators (eg, preadmission scores, unit, module and clerkship grades, course and examination scores) on academic performance at medical school, with a view to identifying students at risk.
An analysis was undertaken of medical student grades in a 6-year medical school program at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, over the past 14 years.
While high school scores were significantly (P < 0.001) correlated with the final integrated examination, predictability was only 6.8%. Scores for the United Arab Emirates university placement assessment (Common Educational Proficiency Assessment) were only slightly more promising as predictors with 14.9% predictability for the final integrated examination. Each unit or module in the first four years was highly correlated with the next unit or module, with 25%–60% predictability. Course examination scores (end of years 2, 4, and 6) were significantly correlated (P < 0.001) with the average scores in that 2-year period (59.3%, 64.8%, and 55.8% predictability, respectively). Final integrated examination scores were significantly correlated (P < 0.001) with National Board of Medical Examiners scores (35% predictability). Multivariate linear regression identified key grades with the greatest predictability of the final integrated examination score at three stages in the program.
This study has demonstrated that it may be possible to identify “at-risk” students relatively early in their studies through continuous data archiving and regular analysis. The data analysis techniques used in this study are not unique to this institution.
at-risk students; grade predictability; scores
Obtain the undergraduate medical students’ evaluation of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) formed by two stations in neurology.
The fifth-year medical students taking the neurology course at King Faisal University during the first rotation of academic year 1420-1421H (2000-2001G) made the evaluation. The time for each station was seven minutes. After finishing the examination, each student completed a six-item questionnaire on coverage, question clarity, time, patients, educational usefulness and organization of the examination with yes, no or don’t know responses.
A total of 48 students (30 males and 18 females) took the examination. The average time to complete the examination for a group of 16 students was 2 hours. The responses were positive for clarity of questions and organization of the examination 41(85%), and allotted time 36(75%). Thirty-two students (67%) found the structured examination a useful educational experience. About half the students expressed their concern about the coverage of taught material and the number of patients seen in the examination as representative of those seen during the course, and 11 students (23%) requested more time.
The students’ response to the use of the structured clinical examination as an objective tool for evaluation of clinical skills in neurology was favorable and comparable to reports from other parts of the world. Improvement is required in the number of patients, coverage and allotted time to optimize outcome by improving content validity and reducing stress on participating patients.
Neurology; undergraduate; medical education; OSCE; Saudi Arabia
Empathy is important in the physician–patient relationship. Prior studies have suggested that physician empathy may decline with clinical training.
To measure and examine student empathy across medical school years.
Design and Participants
A cross-sectional study of students at Boston University School of Medicine in 2006. Incoming students plus each class near the end of the academic year were surveyed.
The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy–Student Version (JSPE-S), a validated 20-item self-administered questionnaire with a total score ranging from 20 to 140. JSPE-S scores were controlled for potential confounders such as gender, age, anticipated financial debt upon graduation, and future career interest.
658 students participated in the study (81.4% of the school population). The first-year medical student class had the highest empathy scores (118.5), whereas the fourth-year class had the lowest empathy scores (106.6). Measured empathy differed between second- and third-year classes (118.2 vs 112.7, P < .001), corresponding to the first year of clinical training. Empathy appears to increase from the incoming to the first-year class (115.5 vs 118.5, P = .02). Students preferring people-oriented specialties had higher empathy scores than students preferring technology-oriented specialties (114.6 vs 111.4, P = .002). Female students were more likely than male students to choose people-oriented specialties (51.5 vs 26.9%, P < .001). Females had higher JSPE-S scores than males (116.5 vs 112.1, P < .001). Age and debt did not affect empathy scores.
Empathy scores of students in the preclinical years were higher than in the clinical years. Efforts are needed to determine whether differences in empathy scores among the classes are cohort effects or represent changes occurring in the course of medical education. Future research is needed to confirm whether clinical training impacts empathy negatively, and, if so, whether interventions can be designed to mitigate this impact.
empathy; medical student education; physician attitudes
This study determined and compared the knowledge of nosocomial infections among clinical health care students at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana.
Two hundred undergraduate health care students from four academic programs participated in the study. The study sample was drawn from each academic program by a simple random sampling technique using the class directory from each course. The Infection Control Standardized Questionnaire (ICSQ) was used to assess the knowledge of students about three main domains, ie, hand hygiene, nosocomial infections, and standard precautions. A maximum score of 50 was obtainable, and respondents with scores ≥70% were classified as having a satisfactory knowledge. The response on each item was coded numerically to generate data for statistical analysis. Comparison of knowledge on the domains among categories of students was assessed using the Kruskal–Wallis test, while associations between courses of study and knowledge about nosocomial infections were determined using the Chi-square test. All statistical tests had a significant level of 5% (P < 0.05)
Overall mean percentage score of the participants on ICSQ was 65.4 ± 2.58, with medical, physiotherapy, radiography, and nursing students recording mean percentage scores of 70.58 ± 0.62, 65.02 ± 2.00, 64.74 ± 1.19, and 61.31 ± 2.35, respectively. The main source of information about the prevention of nosocomial infections as cited by participants was their routine formal training in class. There was no significant association (P > 0.05) between course of study and knowledge of students about preventive measures for nosocomial infections.
The students sampled demonstrated moderate knowledge of nosocomial infections and this was acquired largely through formal classroom training. These findings underscore the need for more emphasis on education about this important source of infection in the clinical training curriculum.
knowledge; prevention; nosocomial infections
Human resources management in health often encounters problems related to workforce geographical distribution. The aim of this study was to investigate the internship workplace preferences of final-year medical students and the reasons associated with their choices.
A total of 204 out of 240 final-year medical students at Zagreb University Medical School, Croatia, were surveyed a few months before graduation. We collected data on each student's background, workplace preference, academic performance and emigration preferences. Logistic regression was used to analyse the factors underlying internship workplace preference, classified into two categories: Zagreb versus other areas.
Only 39 respondents (19.1%) wanted to obtain internships outside Zagreb, the Croatian capital. Gender and age were not significantly associated with internship workplace preference. A single predictor variable significantly contributed to the logistic regression model: students who believed they would not get the desired specialty more often chose Zagreb as a preferred internship workplace (odds ratio 0.32, 95% CI 0.12–0.86).
A strong preference for Zagreb as an internship workplace was recorded. Uncertainty about getting the desired specialty was associated with choosing Zagreb as a workplace, possibly due to more extensive and diverse job opportunities.
Future physicians must learn to cope with continuing changes in access to medical information. New instructional techniques, such as problem-based learning, emphasize the importance of research skills to medical students. To investigate the feasibility of establishing library instruction as a required part of the East Tennessee State University College of Medicine curriculum for undergraduates, the university's medical library surveyed 123 medical school libraries to determine the level of instruction offered by other academic medical libraries. The survey asked whether formal instruction was offered or required, and which courses were taught at each level of undergraduate training. Analysis of the fifty-five responses revealed that 75% offered formal library instruction, and that 49% of these respondents (36% of the total sample) required all students to take such courses. The courses offered most often were library tours, online catalog instruction, and MEDLINE-on-CD-ROM classes. Overall, thirty-three different course titles were offered by responding libraries. The majority of classes involved second- and third-year students. The survey responses reveal the prevalence of required library instruction in medical school curricula, and a broad-scale commitment to the development of lifelong learning skills among future health professionals.
It has been demonstrated that educational programs that focus on study skills could improve learning strategies and academic success of university students. Due to the important role of such supportive programs aimed at the fresh students, this survey was carried out to investigate the effectiveness of an optional course of learning and study skills on learning and study skills of second year medical students.
This quasi-experimental research was performed on 32 eligible medical students in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, who chose the optional course of learning and study skills. Both of intervention and control groups completed Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) at the beginning and the end of semester. Students in the intervention group studied different components of reading and learning skills using team working. Their final scores were calculated based on written reports on application of study skills in exams (portfolio), self-evaluation form and their progress in LASSI test. The mean differences of scores before and after intervention in each of ten test scales were compared between two groups.
The results showed that the mean difference scores in attitude, time management, information processing, main ideas selection, study aids and self-testing scales were significantly higher in the intervention group (p < 0.05 for all).
This optional course successfully improved learning strategies in the corresponding classroom activities. However, there was no improvement in the motivational scale which is tightly related to the educational success. Therefore, the implementation of educational programs with an emphasis on meta-cognitional aspects of learning is recommended.
Study skills; Curriculum; Learning and study strategies inventory; Medical student
Medical education is perceived as being stressful, and a high level of stress may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning and learning of students in a medical school. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of stress among medical students and to observe an association between the levels of stress and their academic performance, including the sources of their stress. All the medical students from year one to year five levels from the College of Medicine, King Saud University, were enrolled in the study. The study was conducted using Kessler10 psychological distress (K10) inventory, which measures the level of stress according to none, mild, moderate, and severe categories. The prevalence of stress was measured and compared with the five study variables, such as gender, academic year, academic grades, regularity to course attendance, and perceived physical problems. The response rate among the study subjects was 87% (n=892). The total prevalence of stress was 63%, and the prevalence of severe stress was 25%. The prevalence of stress was higher (p<0.5) among females (75.7%) than among males (57%) (odds ratio=2.3, χ2=27.2, p<0.0001). The stress significantly decreased as the year of study increased, except for the final year. The study variables, including being female (p<0.0001), year of study (p<0.001), and presence of perceived physical problems (p<0.0001), were found as independent significant risk factors for the outcome variables of stress. Students' grade point average (academic score) or regularity to attend classes was not significantly associated with the stress level. The prevalence of stress was higher during the initial three years of study and among the female students. Physical problems are associated with high stress levels. Preventive mental health services, therefore, could be made an integral part of routine clinical services for medical students, especially in the initial academic years, to prevent such occurrence.
Academic achievements; Cross-sectional studies; Impact studies; Medical education; Stress; Saudi Arabia