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1.  Motivation of university and non-university stakeholders to change medical education in Vietnam 
Background
Both university and non-university stakeholders should be involved in the process of curriculum development in medical schools, because all are concerned with the competencies of the graduates. That may be difficult unless appropriate strategies are used to motivate each stakeholder. From 1999 to 2006, eight medical schools in Vietnam worked together to change the curriculum and teaching for general medical students to make it more community oriented. This paper describes the factors that motivated the different stakeholders to participate in curriculum change and teaching in Vietnamese medical schools and the activities to address those factors and have sustainable contributions from all relevant stakeholders.
Methods
Case study analysis of contributions to the change process, using reports, interviews, focus group discussions and surveys and based on Herzberg's Motivation Theory to analyze involvement of different stakeholders.
Results
Different stakeholders were motivated by selected activities, such as providing opportunities for non-university stakeholders to share their opinions, organizing interactions among university stakeholders, stimulating both bottom-up and top-down inputs, focusing on learning from each other, and emphasizing self-motivation factors.
Conclusion
The Herzberg Motivation theory helped to identify suitable approaches to ensure that teaching topics, materials and assessment methods more closely reflected the health care needs of the community. Other medical schools undertaking a reform process may learn from this experience.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-49
PMCID: PMC2724474  PMID: 19630961
2.  Perceptions of graduating students from eight medical schools in Vietnam on acquisition of key skills identified by teachers 
Background
The eight main Vietnamese medical schools recently cooperated to produce a book listing the knowledge, attitudes and skills expected of a graduate, including specification of the required level for each skill. The teaching program should ensure that students can reach that level. The objective of this study was to determine the perception of graduating students on whether they had achieved the level set for a selection of clinical and public health skills as a guide for the schools to adjust either the levels or the teaching.
Methods
From all eight schools, 1136 of the 1528 final year students completed questionnaires just before completed all the requirements for graduation, a response rate of 87% overall (ranging from 74–99% per school). They rated their own competence on a scale of 0–5 for 129 skills selected from the 557 skills listed in the book, and reported where they thought they had learned them. The scores that the students gave themselves were then compared to the levels proposed by the teachers for each skill. The proportions of the self-assessed achievement to the levels expected by the teachers, means self-assessed scores and the coefficients of variation were calculated to make comparisons among disciplines, among schools and among learning sites.
Results
Most students felt they had learned most of the skills for key clinical departments to the required level; this varied little among the schools. Self-assessed skill acquisition in public health and minor clinical disciplines was lower and varied more. Sites outside the classroom were especially important for learning skills. The results revealed key similarities and differences between the teachers and the students in their perception about what could be learned and where
Conclusion
Revising a curriculum for medical schools demands inputs from all stakeholders. Graduating class students can provide valuable feedback on what they have learned in the existing system. Learning objectives should always be checked with students who have followed their study under existing teaching conditions. The information from the graduates helped to identify potential problem areas where either the objectives or the teaching need adjustment.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-5
PMCID: PMC2248186  PMID: 18205954
3.  Practicing doctors' perceptions on new learning objectives for Vietnamese medical schools 
Background
As part of the process to develop more community-oriented medical teaching in Vietnam, eight medical schools prepared a set of standard learning objectives with attention to the needs of a doctor working with the community. Because they were prepared based on government documents and the opinions of the teachers, it was necessary to check them with doctors who had already graduated and were working at different sites in the community.
Methods
Each of the eight medical faculties asked 100 practising recent graduates to complete a questionnaire to check the relevance of the skills that the teachers considered most important. We used mean and standard deviation to summarize the scores rated by the respondents for each skill and percentile at four points: p50, p25, p10 and p5 to describe the variation of scores among the respondents. Correlation coefficient was used to measure the relationship between skill levels set by the teachers and the perception of practicing doctors regarding frequency of using skills and priority for each skill. Additional information was taken from the records of focus group discussions to clarify, explain or expand on the results from the quantitative data.
Results
In many cases the skills considered important by teachers were also rated as highly necessary and/or frequently used by the respondents. There were, however, discrepancies: some skills important to teachers were seldom used and not considered important by the doctors. In focus group discussions the doctors also identified skills that are not taught at all in the medical schools but would be needed by practising doctors.
Conclusion
Although most of the skills and skill levels included in the learning objectives by the teachers were consistent with the opinions of their graduates, the match was not perfect. The experience of the graduates and their additional comments should be included as inputs to the definition of learning objectives for medical students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-19
PMCID: PMC1925073  PMID: 17597544

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