The suitability of physiology topics taught in the first-year dental curriculum needs to be investigated in the light of the view of the present generation of clinical and preclinical teachers, and students. This was studied in the University of Malaya in order to propose a rational physiology curriculum with proper identification of priority topics. Oral physiology, blood and the cardiovascular system were found to be the most relevant for dental students. Among the systems, high and low priority topics were identified and their relative importance is discussed.
Changing social demands made it necessary for the Medical Faculty of the University of Malaya to accommodate students with a wider range of academic experience than before. However, teachers sought to achieve comparable academic standards to those in the West by striving to maintain a close resemblance to the Western model of medical education in other respects. As a result teachers failed to adapt their teaching methods, assessment techniques and curriculum design to meet the educational needs of the students, thus compromising academic standards. Many students lack basic academic skills and do not know how to learn effectively. In order to help students overcome their learning difficulties innovative teaching was required during the first year at university, designed to foster the joint development of knowledge and basic skills. In the case of less well-prepared students who lack self-confidence, a caring and supportive learning environment is crucial to the achievement of meaningful learning. Lecturers needed to become facilitators of learning rather than transmitters of knowledge. However, teachers' objective to retain international recognition of the degree, which presumably reflected the importance of teaching, was not operationalized in terms of its incentive structure such that teachers were constrained not to try to fill the new roles demanded of them. It was assumed that academic distinction accrued through scientific research was essential for the achievement of academic excellence. However, under the prevailing circumstances the two aims were mutually exclusive and incompatible and teaching quality deteriorated.
The knowledge and clinical and minor surgical skills acquired by 257 medical students in three universities in Sri Lanka and Malaysia were assessed by a questionnaire after they had completed their training period in ophthalmology. This study showed that many medical students graduating from these universities lacked the basic clinical and minor surgical skills essential for a doctor practising in a community in south-east Asia. The responses also indicated that teaching by consultants in all three universities was inadequate and due to these inadequacies the students requested that the duration of their training period be doubled. Ophthalmology is an important component of clinical practice and proper education in this subject is important. An urgent revision of the aims and objectives of the curriculum in ophthalmology is essential to place greater emphasis on this important and much neglected subject, for which very little curricular time is allotted.
This paper describes the analysis of the written professional examinations administered at the Medical School, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), during the academic year 1979-80. It is a product of a collaborative activity involving medical teachers and two short-term consultants of the World Health Organization. The examination papers were analysed in order to identify content areas disproportionately emphasized in the examinations; to determine the quality and appropriateness of the examination items used; and to review the extent of continuity and integration across departments and courses. This paper is intended to introduce an approach to curriculum review which is based on analysis of the examination system. The procedures and sample outcomes are described and the implications for curriculum development and evaluation are discussed.
The competence of general practitioners (GPs) in diagnosing anxiety neurosis was assessed using standardized patients (SPs) unknown to the doctors. Out of a computer-generated random sample of 100 general practitioners in Kuala Lumpur, 42 volunteered to participate in the study. The results showed that the GPs can be divided into three groups: group A made the correct diagnosis and informed the SPs about their condition (11.9%); group B prescribed tranquillizers and did not inform the SPs of the actual diagnosis but instead said that they were either normal or were suffering from some stress (28.6%); and group C made various diagnoses of physical disorder or did not detect any abnormality at all (59.5%). Thus about 40% of the doctors considered an emotion-related disorder and only 12% of the doctors were confident enough to make and inform the patient of the actual diagnosis. Group A significantly (P < 0.001) asked higher numbers of relevant questions in the signs and symptoms section of the history than the other two groups. No differences between the three groups were observed in the other two sections of history-taking (personality, family, social and precipitating factors), in the general and specific physical examination and interpersonal skills. Generally, with the exception of the interpersonal skills section, the doctors performed less than 40% of the expected tasks in every section. The study highlighted the lack of competence in making a definite diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Among those who apparently made the diagnosis (group B) or made the diagnosis with certainty (group A), there was no demonstration of appropriate treatment behaviour with respect to pharmacological intervention.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Behavioural self-analysis projects were introduced into the second year medical curriculum in behavioural sciences at the University of Malaya. Students performance and evaluation of the experience were compared with those of American medical students. It was concluded that receptivity of medical students to principles of behaviour therapy is relatively similar in the two societies.
Required learning of the basic medical sciences based on five clinical problems was compiled by teachers and subsequently derived as 'learning needs' by students during the problem-solving process. These lists of topics were compared in terms of number of lecture-hours and when these were taught in the traditional curriculum. The findings indicate that learning from problems is not entirely free-rein and can be largely determined by teachers; topics taught earlier in the course appeared more frequently than latter topics and there was a tremendous overlap of topics in both the traditional and problem-based list. Regardless of whether lectures have been given or not, students recalled facts better if they had encountered the related clinical problem. This study also reveals that problem-based learning can be as efficient as lectures in content coverage and concludes that the lecture method be retained provided the topics are selective and are derived and sequenced appropriately with clinical problems. Problem-solving should be adopted as a teaching strategy.
A cross-sectional national survey was conducted amongst a random sample of medical practitioners registered in 1988 with the Malaysian Medical Council with the purpose of determining their educational needs with regards to continuing medical education (CME). A 91.0% response rate was obtained. It was found that more than 70% wanted a programme that would provide them with new practical skills and new knowledge or advances in specific fields. About 2/3 also wanted their intellectual skills in problem-solving to be further developed. Reinforcement of communication skills appears to be of secondary importance. They would also like a programme of CME to help them monitor and improve their diagnostic accuracy, investigative habits, prescribing pattern, skills in interpreting diagnostic tests and management of common illnesses. As for content areas it was found that the problems they have least confidence in managing come mainly from the disciplines of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, and emergency and critical care. More than 90% preferred self-learning methods with some group-type activities. Based on these needs it was recommended that a programme of CME be developed with orientation towards a practice-based setting, self-directed learning, utilizing problem-solving approaches and focusing on the major content areas identified. In addition, activities such as small-group discussions, clinical rounds and journal clubs should be encouraged to develop into local network group activities to supplement the self-learning and present lectures and talks.