Introduction: Medical and allied health educators around the globe agreed that an optimal educational climate is a vital aspect for effective learning to take place. Without a doubt, appraisal of the educational climate has been emphasized as a key to the delivery of high quality medical education. In addition, the appraisal provides useful feedback to particular institution to improve their curriculum.
Objective: This study was employed as part of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) Universiti Sains Malaysia curriculum review process. It aimed to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the current medical curriculum thus could provide useful information to guide the curriculum review committee during the review process.
Method: A cross sectional study was conducted on a total of 656 medical students from the first, third and fifth year of study. Purposive sampling method was applied. DREEM was administered to the medical students to evaluate the educational climate in the studied medical school.
Result: A total of 511 (77.9%) medical students completely responded to the 50 statements of DREEM. The mean global score across phases of medical training was 128.36/200. The global scores for year 1, year 3 and year 5 were 138.94/200, 122.27/200 and 125.49/200 respectively. Results showed that; 1) the medical school had reasonably level of educational climates across phases of medical training; 2) the medical teachers were knowledgeable and well prepared for the teaching; 3) the students were overloaded with factual knowledge; 4) the medical teachers were quite harsh to students during teaching session especially in clinical phase; 5) students experienced a significant amount of stress that led to poor memory; 6) the learning process was inclined toward teacher-centered rather than student-centered learning; 7) students had a considerable healthy social relationships with peers as well as others; and 8) academic dishonesty became more apparent in the clinical phase.
Conclusion: The medical school's educational environment across different phases of study was more positive than negative. However, there are plenty of rooms for improvement as perceived by the medical students. The medical school should address various important issues highlighted in this article during the curriculum review process.