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issn:2229-340
1.  E-learning in Saudi Arabia: ‘To E or not to E, that is the question’ 
Background:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has witnessed unprecedented growth in higher education and E-learning in recent times. In the last five years, one university and five colleges have been commissioned every month; 800 scholarships have been awarded every month for overseas study; a national center for E-learning has been established; and E-units or departments have been set-up in almost every university. E-learning has become important for discussion to quote Shakespeare ‘To E or not to E that is the question.’
Objectives:
To examine current and future developments and challenges of E-learning in KSA.
Materials and Methods:
A qualitative approach was used to explore views of 30 senior academicians involved in E-learning during their attendance at a two-week course on the subject.
Results:
All participants considered themselves as decision makers on E-learning in their units or departments. They felt that E-learning had come to stay, but acknowledged challenges in respect of resources, organization, management, and information technology.
Conclusion:
The fast development of E-learning poses many challenges. Clear vision and strategic planning with prospective E-learners in mind are essential to make E-learning programs cost effective.
doi:10.4103/1319-1683.74333
PMCID: PMC3045104  PMID: 21359026
Challenges and development of E-learning in Saudi Arabia; E-learning; vision and strategic planning of E-learning
2.  Medical students’ evaluation of their exposure to the teaching of ethics 
Background:
The subject of Biomedical Ethics has become recognized as an essential integral component in the undergraduate curriculum of medical students.
Objectives:
(1) To review the current Biomedical Ethics Course offered at the College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). (2) To explore the perception of medical students on the different components of the course.
Materials and Methods:
The medical students were requested to participate in the study at the end of the course by filling in a pre-designed questionnaire. A qualitative approach was used also to examine their perceptions about certain components of the course.
Results:
Forty-one medical students participated in this study. All students expressed their strong agreement on the importance of their learning biomedical ethics. Their views about the role of Biomedical Ethics were also considered. These include professional development, assessment of ethical competencies, and the timing of the teaching of ethics.
Conclusion:
The students provided valuable comments that were supported by the literature reviews. Medical Students’ views of the teaching of the various components of biomedical ethics are important and should be sought in the planning of a curriculum.
doi:10.4103/1319-1683.68788
PMCID: PMC3195073  PMID: 22022670
Bioethics; bioethics curriculum; bioethics learning; bioethics teaching; professional development
3.  PERCEPTIONS OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE (PHC) DOCTORS ON THE PREVENTION OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE (CHD) IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death throughout the world. PHC doctors are in a unique position to prevent CHD and promote health in the population. However, the perception of PHC doctors on CHD prevention has not been well documented.
Objectives:
To explore and examine the perception of PHC doctors on the prevention of CHD. Subject and method: A questionnaire survey of all PHC doctors attending a continuing medical education (CME) activity in Riyadh city. The questionnaire was designed and piloted with local PHC doctors before being used in this survey.
Results:
All the 77 PHC doctors responded (100%) and almost all the them (97.4%) agreed that the primary prevention of CHD was an essential task. Fifty-two participants (67.53%) confirmed that little attention had been paid to the primary prevention of CHD. While the majority of respondents (71.43%) felt that the primary prevention of CHD was an easy task, a significant minority (23.37%) disagreed. Interestingly, 70 (90.91%) respondents were not aware of any local literature on how to achieve primary prevention of CHD and would like to have the literature made available to them. Finally, participants indicated that the percentage prevalence of CHD risk factors among their patients was high.
Conclusion:
the findings of this survey confirm a general feeling that the primary prevention of CHD is not being given enough attention. Participants accepted that the primary prevention of CHD was an essential part of their work, but the lack of local literature and research on this vital area was a major concern.
PMCID: PMC3377029  PMID: 23012190
Opinion of PHC doctors; Prevention and prevalence of CHD
4.  APPOINTMENT SYSTEM IN PRIMARY CARE: OPINION OF CONSUMERS AND PROVIDERS 
Background:
The appointment system in primary care is widely used in developed countries, but there seems to be a problem with its use in Saudi Arabia.
Objectives:
(1) To explore opinions and satisfaction of consumers and providers of care in Primary Health Care regarding walk-in and the introduction of the appointment system. (2) To examine factors which may affect commitment to an appointment system in PHC.
Subject and method:
Two hundred sixty (260) consumers above the age of 15 years as well as seventy (70) members of staff were randomly selected from 10 Primary Health Care Clinics in the National Guard Housing Area, Riyadh and asked to complete a structured questionnaire designed to meet the study's objectives.
Results:
The majority of consumers and providers of care were in favour of introducing appointments despite their satisfaction with the existing walk-in sysem. Respondents saw many advantages in the appointment system in PHC such as time saving, reduction of crowds in the clinics and guarantee of a time slot. The main perceived disadvantage was the limitation of accessibility to patients especially with acute conditions. The main organizational advantages and disadvantages perceived by providers were related to follow-ups of chronic patients, no shows and late arrivals. The majority of the patients preferred appointments in the afternoon and the possibility of obtaining an appointment over the telephone.
Conclusion:
In this study, both consumers and providers supportted the idea of introducing the appointment mixed system in primary care, but further study is required
PMCID: PMC3410158  PMID: 23012154
Appointment System; Primary Health Care; Consumers/Providers′ Opinion; and Consultation.

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