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issn:2229-340
1.  DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED ORGAN/SYSTEM CURRICULUM WITH COMMUNITY-ORIENTATION FOR A NEW MEDICAL COLLEGE IN JAZAN, SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Jazan province is located in the south-west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The province is offlicted with a wide spectrum of diseases and therefore have a special need for more health services. The Faculty of Medicine at Jazan has been following the traditional curriculum since its inception in 2001. The traditional curriculum has been criticized because of the students inability to relate what they learned in the basic sciences to medicine, thus stifling their motivation. It was felt that much of what was presented in preclinical courses was irrelevant to what the doctor really needed to know for his practice. The College therefore, decided to change to an integrated curriculum.
Design:
The study was conducted in 2004-2005 in the Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University. It began with a literature survey/search for relevant information and a series of meetings with experts from various institutions. A Curriculum Committee was formed and a set of guiding principles was prepared to help develop the new curriculum. A standard curriculum writing format was adopted for each module. It was decided that an independent evaluation of the new curriculum was to be done by experts in medical education before submission for official approval. There were several difficulties in the course of designing the curriculum, such as: provision of vertical integration, the lack of preparedness of faculty to teach an integrated curriculum, and difficulties inherent in setting a truly integrated examination.
Curriculum:
The program designed is for 6 years and in 3 phases; pre-med (year 1), organ/system (years 2 and 3), and clinical clerkship (years 4, 5, and 6). This is to be followed by a year of Internship. The pre-med phase aims at improving the students’ English language and prepare them for the succeeding phases. The organ/ system phase includes the integrated systems and the introductory modules. The curriculum includes elective modules, early clinical training, behavioral sciences, medical ethics, biostatistics, computer practice, and research methods. The curriculum provides active methods of instruction that include: small group discussion/ tutorials, problem-based learning (PBL), case-study/ clinical presentations, seminars, skills practice (clinical skill lab), practical, demonstration, and student independent learning. Methods of evaluating students include continuous and summative assessment.
Conclusion:
The new curriculum adopted by the Jazan Faculty of Medicine is an integrated, organ/ system based, community-oriented, with early clinical skills, elective modules, and innovative methods of instructions.
PMCID: PMC3410155  PMID: 23012158
Community oriented education; Curriculum development/evaluation; Interdisciplinary medical education; Problem-based learning
2.  PREVALENCE OF MINOR PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITY AMONG FEMALE TEACHERS IN GIRLS SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN TABUK CITY, SAUDI ARABIA 
Objectives:
Teachers are at the risk of developing minor psychiatric morbidity (MPM) because of the stressfulness of their job. This may lead to a significant decrease in their teaching effectiveness and to the development of serious health problems, if not detected early and managed appropriately. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of MPM among female teachers in girls’ secondary schools in Tabuk, and to analyze certain important associated demographic characteristics.
Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study. First, a proportional cluster sample was selected randomly from the three sectors of schools in Tabuk, from which female teachers (198 out of a total of 517) in the selected schools were included in the study. Data on MPM and demographic characteristics were collected by means of the General Health Questionnaire 30 (GHQ30), a validated and extensively used instrument for identifying MPM
Results:
Out of 198 participants, 187 completed the GHQ30 giving a response rate of 94.4%. The prevalence of MPM among them was 59.4% (111 participants). The variables with a statistically significant association with MPM were as follows: young age, nationality, positive participant psychiatric history, family history of medical and/or psychiatric problems, and divorced and widowed. No statistically significant associations were found with participants’ medical problems or their mental status, either single or married, housing type, monthly income, the number of children in a family, and the number of family members.
Conclusion:
The finding of a high prevalence of MPM (59.4%) indicates that all participants may be at risk. Hence, appropriate and timely management, as well as social support are needed. Studies focusing on the causes and how to manage them will also be required.
PMCID: PMC3425764  PMID: 23011989
Minor psychiatric morbidity; female teachers’ stress; GHQ – 30; 
3.  DOES THE MANAGEMENT OF BRONCHIAL ASTHMA BY FAMILY PHYSICIANS MEET STANDARDS OF THE NATIONAL PROTOCOL? 
Objectives:
Asthma is a common disease that is sometimes fatal. Its prevalence, morbidity and mortality are increasing. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the proficiency of primary care physicians in general knowledge, diagnosis, classification of severity and management of asthma along the guidelines of the Saudi National Asthma Protocol, and to analyze the association of their proficiency level with certain professional standards.
Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Department of Family Medicine and the Main Air Base Clinic at the North-West Armed Forces Hospital in Tabuk City, Saudi Arabia from the 1st to the 29th of June 2001. All 44 primary care physicians working there at the time were enrolled in the study. A self-administered true/false questionnaire prepared by the Saudi National Asthma Scientific Committee was completed by all physicians. The Passing score was ≥ 50%.
Results:
Only 39% of the physicians passed the test as a whole, with 66% passed in general knowledge, 70% in diagnosis, 48% in the classification of severity and 59% in the management of asthma. There was an association between significant achievement and Family Medicine Board Certification as well as some knowledge of the National Asthma Protocol (p ≥ 0.05). No association was observed with attendance of asthma training courses. There was positive significant correlation between the knowledge score, the management scores and the total scores of physicians.
Conclusion:
The level of awareness of the National Asthma Protocol among the primary care physicians was low (52%). Their proficiency in general knowledge, diagnosis, classification of severity and management was also low. A higher standard was associated with Family Medicine Board Certification. Further studies to identify the reasons for these deficiencies need to be carried out so that measures could be taken to rectify the situation.
PMCID: PMC3430164  PMID: 23008677
Asthma; Family physicians; National Protocol for Asthma Diagnosis and Management; Evaluation
4.  STRESS IN MOTHERS OF DIABETIC CHILDREN IN RIYADH CITY, SAUDI ARABIA 
Objectives:
The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of physical, social, financial and marital stress on mothers of diabetic children and the possible relationship of this stress to the epidemiological characteristics of the mothers.
Method:
It was a case-control study in which 125 mothers of diabetic children were selected randomly from 10 general and private hospitals in Riyadh city. A control companion group of 110 mothers who were free of chronic illness, was drawn from primary health care centers in the same city. Mothers in both groups were interviewed using a structured questionnaire.
Results:
In the study group, 110 mothers were interviewed. Physical, social and financial stress was more common in mothers of diabetic children than in mothers in the control group. With the exception of marital stress, the differences were statistically significant. Physical stress was correlated positively with the frequency of blood tests and the working status of mothers. Social stress was correlated positively with the frequency of blood tests; but negatively with child's knowledge of diabetes mellitus. Financial stress was correlated positively with the presence of chronic illness but negatively with family income.
Conclusion:
Mothers of diabetic children are at risk of being under various kinds of stress. Certain epidemiological factors are associated with the development of the stress. These factors have to be taken into consideration in the management of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3444959  PMID: 23008614
Diabetic children; stress; KSA; epidemiology

Results 1-4 (4)