Anatomy is an important knowledge for medical practice. Insufficient anatomy knowledge leading to errors in identification of anatomical structures during medical practices has been reported in many countries. Many medical students seem to have difficulties in learning anatomy and retaining the knowledge for future practice, thus this might reflect the possible flaws in anatomy education. In order to achieve optimum anatomy education environment and to close the gaps in education, measuring the students' perception on anatomy teaching and learning is a pre-emptive measure needed by educationists. At present, there is no valid and reliable inventory available to specifically evaluate the anatomy education environment. Therefore, this article highlights the importance of having such inventory.
Histology, a branch of anatomy is a correlational science between structure of tissues and their
functions. Knowledge of histology is emphasised for undergraduate medical students as a basic for
clinical knowledge and research. To impart retainable and reproducible knowledge in histology, a new
laboratory manual with images and clinical correlates was introduced to the Year I MBBS students
in the Academic Session 2017/2018 during their general anatomy module. The objective structured
practical examination marks between 101 students of Batches 2016/17 and 2017/18 were analysed.
The difference in marks between both the batches were analysed using SPSS 20. Batch 2017/18
students who used the new lab manual scored better than the previous batch who used the old
manual. Independent t-test was not statistically significant. The students who used the new manual
fared better than their seniors. Since the difference was not statistically significant, it can be concluded
that if existent, drawbacks in the lab manual should be improved and adequate usage of the manual by
the students should be emphasised. Nevertheless, usage of the new lab manual shows that the students
could understand the subject and score better with less study hours.
Objectives: This investigation focused on finding the changes in learning approaches of students’ while experiencing physiology curriculum and to explore the reflection of changes if any, on their critical thinking skills.
Methods: In this longitudinal study, information on students’ learning approaches was obtained using the revised two factor study process questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) at the commencement (pre-test) and completion (post-test) of first year MBBS course. The total score and the scores obtained in the critical thinking questions in four physiology assessments were analysed. Pre and post-tests scores in R-SPQ-2F and assessment scores were compared using independent samples t-test and one way repeated measure ANOVA respectively. Correlation of scores between assessments was done using Pearson correlation. A p value < 0.05 was taken as significant.
Results: A significant increase in students’ deep learning approach at the completion of the physiology curriculum when compared to commencement (p < 0.001) was observed. A progressive improvement in their scores as they experienced the curriculum was also noticed. A moderate correlation among critical thinking questions scores and a strong correlation between critical thinking questions and total essay scores were also recorded.
Conclusion: The study revealed improvement in students’ deep approach to learning in physiology which was reflected in their performance in critical thinking questions.
Study site: Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal University, India
BACKGROUND: The literature indicates that medical practitioners experience declining empathy levels in clinical practice. This highlights the need to educate medical students about empathy as an attribute early in the academic curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate year one students' self-reported empathy levels following a 2-hour empathy workshop at a large medical school in Malaysia.
METHODS: Changes in empathy scores were examined using a paired repeated-measures t-test in this prospective before and after study.
RESULTS: Analyzing the matched data, there was a statistically significant difference and moderate effect size between mean empathy scores before and 5 weeks after the workshop (112.08±10.67 versus 117.93±13.13, P<0.0001, d=0.48) using the Jefferson Scale Physician Empathy (Student Version).
CONCLUSION: The results of this observational study indicate improved mean self-reported empathy scores following an empathy workshop.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; empathy; medical students
Engaging students in active learning lies at the center of effective higher education. In medical schools, students' engagement in learning and research has come under increasing attention. The objective of this study was to synthesize evidence on medical students' perspectives on the engagement in research. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. Relevant studies were searched in electronic databases. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed. Overall, 14 observational studies (with 17 data sets) were included. In general, many studies did not use the same questionnaires and the outcome measurements were not consistently reported; these presented some difficulties in pooling the results. Whenever data permitted, we performed pooled analysis for the 4 education outcomes. A Bayesian meta-analytical approach was supplemented as a measure of uncertainty. A pooled analysis showed that 74% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.57%-11.07%; I2: 95.2%) of those students who engaged in research (while at the medical school) had positive attitudes toward their research experiences, whereas 49.5% (95% CI: 36.4%-62.7%; I2: 93.4%) had positive attitudes toward the study of medical sciences, 62.3% (95% CI: 46.7%-77.9%; I2: 96.3%) had self-reported changes in their practices, and 64% (95% CI: 30.8%-96.6%; I2: 98.5%) could have published their work. There was substantial heterogeneity among studies. We acknowledged the caveats and the merit of the current review. Findings showed that engagement in research resulted in favorable reactions toward research and academic learning. Future well-designed studies using standardized research tools on how to engage students in research are recommended.
Matched MeSH terms: Students, Medical/psychology*; Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data
Stress may affect students' health and their academic performance. Coping strategies are specific efforts that individuals employ to manage stress. This study aimed to assess the perception of stress among medical students and their coping strategies.
Students' perceptions of their learning environment, by defining its strengths and weaknesses, are important for continuous improvement of the educational environments and curriculum. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore students' perceptions of their learning environment, among medical students in Malaysia. Various aspects of the education environment were compared between year levels and sex.
This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia in 2012. A total number of 438 medical students participated in this study, and the response rate was 87.6%. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Comparisons of the mean scores of Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) subscales were calculated. The t-test was used to determine statistically significant differences.
The majority of the study participants were female, Malay, and from year 3 (68.7%, 65.3%, and 55.7%; respectively). Analysis of each of the 50 items of the DREEM inventory showed that 47 items scored ranged between 2.00 and 3.00, and three items scored below 2.00. These were identified as problem areas in this medical school that are required to be critically addressed. The overall score showed that the medical students' perceptions were positive. The students' perception toward educational environment was positive for all five DREEM subscales.
The study found that, in general, the perceptions of the participants about the learning environment were positive. Nevertheless, the study also found there is a need for curriculum improvement in this school and identified priority areas for such improvement.
DREEM; Malaysia; learning environment; medical education; students’ perceptions
A medical narrative is a physician-patient dialogue, where the physician listens carefully to fragments of the patient’s story, while interpreting their hidden messages and word sequences, as well as observing their gestures and body language. This aspect of the therapeutic relationship contributes to deciphering
symptoms which are not apparent in the conventional interview and contributes to a much broader perspective
of illness and health. The arts and the humanities have always been inseparable from each other in medical education. In this biomedical revolution, the humanities are needed now more than ever before to bridge the divides that separate the physician from the patient, from self, from colleagues, and society. Narrative Medicine (NM) which aims to treat the whole person, and not just the illness, is an emerging patient-centred discipline in medical schools that can humanise medical care and promote empathy. NM helps medical students cope with the suffering of their patients as well as their own emotions by reducing the anxiety and threat that come with illness, thereby providing a psychologically-sound foundation for the development of self-reflection and empathy. NM facilitates medical students’ adoption of patients’ perspectives with the hope of ultimately leading to more humane, ethical and empathetic healthcare for their patients. The discipline of NM is critically examined in this review paper from the perspective of external and internal stakeholders.
BACKGROUND: Although lecture handouts are commonly given to students during theory lectures, students' perception, as well as their performance, can vary depending on the type of handouts they receive for information processing.
METHODOLOGY: This is a quasi-experimental study involving 6(th) semester medical students. The study was conducted during theory lectures on ophthalmology. The two types of notes given to the students were comprehensive handout and a skeleton handout, which included some lecture notes but required substantial annotation by the students. Pre-test and post-test in the form of multiple choice questions were conducted before and after the lecture session, respectively.
RESULTS: There was a significant difference of mean score of pre- and post-test between skeletal handout (pre = 1.85 ± 1.275, post = 4.85 ± 0.363) and full handout (pre = 1.92 ± 1.09 post = 2.61 ± 0.771) with P < 0.001. However, the students' responses to questionnaires indicated a strong preference for much detailed handouts as essential to preparation for examinations.
CONCLUSION: The student can improve their performance during examination while working on skeletal handouts during theory lectures i n spite of showing a preference for complete handouts.
KEYWORDS:Handout; interactive; lecture; medical student; skeleton
Attitudes towards assisted death activities among medical students, the future health gatekeepers, are scarce and controversial. The aims of this study were to explore attitudes on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide among final year medical students in Athens, to investigate potential differences in attitudes between male and female medical students and to review worldwide attitudes of medical students regarding assisted death activities. A 20- item questionnaire was used. The total number of participants was 251 (mean age 24.7±1.8 years). 52.0% and 69.7% of the respondents were for the acceptance of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, respectively. Women's attitudes were more often influenced by religious convictions as well as by the fact that there is a risk that physician-assisted suicide might be misused with certain disadvantaged groups. On the other hand, men more often believed that a request for physician-assisted suicide from a terminally ill patient is prima-facie evidence of a mental disorder, usually depression. Concerning attitudes towards euthanasia among medical students in various countries there are contradictory results. In USA, the Netherlands, Hungary and Switzerland most of the students supported euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. However, in many other countries such as Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, Sudan, Malaysia and Puerto Rico most students expressed negative positions regarding euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.
Poor oral health has been associated with compromised general health and quality of life. To promote comprehensive patient management, the role of medical professionals in oral health maintenance is compelling, thus indicating the need for educational preparation in this area of practice. This study aimed to determine the extent of training in oral health in Malaysian and Australian medical schools. An audio-recorded semi-structured phone interview involving Academic Programme Directors in Malaysian (n = 9, response rate=81.8%) and Australian (n = 7, response rate = 35.0%) medical schools was conducted during the 2014/2015 and 2014 academic years, respectively. Qualitative data was analysed via thematic analysis, involving coding and grouping into emerging themes. Quantitative data were measured for frequencies. It was found that medical schools in Malaysia and Australia offered limited teaching of various oral health-related components that were mostly integrated throughout the curriculum, in the absence of structured learning objectives, teaching methodologies and assessment approaches. Barriers to providing oral health education included having insufficient expertise and overloaded curriculum. As medical educators demonstrated support for oral health education, collaboration amongst various stakeholders is integral to developing a well-structured curriculum and practice guidelines on oral health management involving medical professionals.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the stress-prevalence and coping-strategies among University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) medical students.
METHODS: This was an observational study conducted among 234 UKM first and third year medical students. Standardized questionnaire on stress and coping strategies was used. Stress data was related to subjective experiences on some positive and negative adjectives such as tense, relaxed etc. Positive adjectives were measured by sign "++" and "+" scoring "1" while stress-negative adjectives were measured by sign "?" and "-" scoring "0". Forty-eight coping items under task, emotion and avoidance strategies were measured using 5-point Likert-scale.
RESULTS: Overall stress-prevalence was 49%. Female and Malay respondents were more stressed. Significant differences of stress-level was observed between Malays and non Malays in first year (p=0.04) and in third year (p=0.01). Most common strategies used to cope stress was task-oriented while emotion oriented was least.
CONCLUSION: Stress-prevalence and stress-level in UKM medical students was high. Most of the respondents coped stress using task-oriented strategies. Stressor and its effective management must be ensured. Educational institutions should act as a creative designer of learning environment to get relieve from educational stressor.
KEYWORDS: Coping strategies; Medical students; Stress prevalence
BACKGROUND: Undergraduate medical students have been the most distressed group among the student population. Depression and anxiety have been found to be more prevalent in this group of students compared to others.
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and predictors of suicidality among undergraduate medical students in a public university.
METHODS: This was an analytical cross-sectional study, conducted in a public university in Selangor, Malaysia. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires from January to February 2013, and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Software (version 21).
RESULTS: Out of 625 undergraduate medical students, 537 (85.9%) participated in the study. The prevalence of the suicidality among undergraduate medical students was 7.0%. The significant predictors of suicidality based on multiple logistic regression were the respondent's lifetime suicide attempts (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR 10.4, 95% CI 2.7 to 40.9); depression (AOR 5.9, 95% CI 1.5 to 23.0); breaking off a steady love relationship (AOR 5.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 22.4); hopelessness (AOR 4.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 21.6); and something valued being lost or stolen (AOR 4.4, 95% CI 1.2 to 15.9).
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that mental health care services should be strengthened at university level. The results show a need for an intervention programme to reduce suicidality among the undergraduate medical students.