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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-67 Table of Contents     

7TH GCC Medical Colleges Conference, 17-19 November 2009, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication7-Sep-2010

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How to cite this article:
. 7TH GCC Medical Colleges Conference, 17-19 November 2009, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. J Fam Community Med 2010;17:50-67

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. 7TH GCC Medical Colleges Conference, 17-19 November 2009, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. J Fam Community Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Nov 30];17:50-67. Available from:

The 7 th GCC Medical Colleges Conference was held at the Dammam Campus of King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia from 17 th to 19 th November 2009. The theme of the conference was "Medical Education: Research and Applications" and it was organized by the Medical Education Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam (KFH-D), Saudi Arabia. The Medical Education Unit at KFU-D is committed to promote faculty development activities that support the mission of KFU-D. It also strives to provide facilities and services of highest order to improve assessment in particular and quality of medical and health professional's education in general. The Journal of Family and Community Medicine has allotted a section for Medical Education. Considering the importance of the conference, our commitment towards medical education, and to the interest of our readers, we have included the abstracts of the scientific presentations of the 7 th GCC Medical Colleges Conference in this issue.

Progress testing at college of medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for health sciences, Riyadh

Ibrahim Al Alwan

King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: There has been an increased focus on the accountability component of assessment and accreditation in higher education. Within this increased culture of accountability, there has been a push for greater standardization, and within this movement towards standardization is the issue of the use of progress examinations. A progress examination can be defined as a method of assessing both the acquisition and retention of knowledge at one or more points in the curriculum relative to curricular goals and objectives. An experiment of progress testing for undergraduate medical education at College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences was evaluated for the utilities of its outcome which include comparisons among students to identify those who could benefit from remediation, to determine progression in the curriculum, and as an adjunct to program evaluation. Materials and Methods: The test style A clinical and Basic Sciences based tests are delivered once a year each, throughout each Academic Year to evaluate students' performance against competencies achieved during their undergraduate studies. The content of the test material is blueprinted against USMLE systems. Progress Exam 1 consists of 180 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Progress Exam 2 consists of 200 Multiple Choice Questions. All students in each year of a program are presented with the same test as an assessment of their "progress" toward fulfilling the program's terminal objective. Each subsequent administration of the progress test is an equivalent form of the test sampling the same domain of competence, with items drawn from a large pool. All items are reviewed by our Student Assessment Committee which consists of 11 members (Basic Scientists, Clinicians and Medical Educationists). Data analysis after each test the Assessment Committee reviews items that have not performed well, as indicated by analysis of question difficulty or choice of options. We link test performance with curriculum activity and provide detailed feedback to Curriculum Committee. Although they are not allowed to see the questions, General feedback is given to students about their test performance. It focuses to helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Results: The data indicated that the tests are performing as predicted. In the very early years, students have low scores and as the years progress the performance improves and scores increase. The data from the progress tests allow defensible decisions to be made about student progress through the course. Students find these Progress Tests useful, in that it contributes to the effectiveness of the learning process. Curriculum Committee based on Progress tests reports made several modification on models contents. Conclusion: Our progress testing experience for undergraduate education was feasible. The value of progress testing for undergraduate medical education assessment was unique and promising.

Impact of peer review on the quality of multiple choice questions

Ahmed Badr, Basil A. Al-Sheikh, Mona H. Al-Sheikh, Talay Yar

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Peer review process is used for the purpose of providing quality control on the advancement of scientific and educational ideas. This study was carried out to determine the impact of peer review of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on quality of examination. An item analysis of the MCQs used in midyear Physiology examination 1429-1430 session of 2nd level medical students was carried out. The results were dispatched to the faculty members. This was followed by a faculty board meeting where the deficiencies were pointed out, reasons for deficiencies discussed and remedies sought. It was decided to arrange a pre-examination peer review of MCQ questions for the final examination 1429-1430. The faculty was asked to submit MCQs related to the units taught by them. A peer review was arranged in which teams of the faculty members reviewed the questions made by their colleagues. The suggested modifications by peers were incorporated with approval of the faculty member originally making the MCQs. After the final examination, an item analysis was carried out. The item analysis of midyear & final examinations were statistically compared. In order to evaluate the qualitative aspects a questionnaire was circulated amongst the participating faculty to give opinion about the differences. The students were blinded from this process. Two focus groups of students were arranged to get their views about any differences noted between the mid-year and final examination. Comparison of item analysis determined that the MCQs used in final examination were significantly better than the midyear examination. The faculty took peer review as a professional responsibility, enjoyed doing reviews and accepted modifications suggested by peers whole-heartedly. They however did not agree to the changes suggested when they felt that they could jeopardize the essence of question. In addition, the students also noticed the marked difference between the two exams. Peer review of multiple-choice questions before finalizing an examination improves the quality of questions.

The need for national medical licensing examination in Saudi Arabia

Sohail Bajammal, Rania Zaini, Wesam Abuznadah, Mohammad Al Rumban, Mona Al Sheikh

University of Calgary, Canada

Medical education in Saudi Arabia is facing multiple challenges, including the rapid increase in the number of medical schools over a short period of time, the influx of foreign medical graduates to work in Saudi Arabia, the award of scholarships to hundreds of students to study medicine in various countries, and the absence of published national guidelines for minimal acceptable competencies of a medical graduate. We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes. We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia. The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.

Gender based psychometric analysis of medical students' assessment

Kishore K. Deepak, Khalid U. Al Umran, Mona H. Al-Sheikh, Abdullah M. Al-Rubaish

Medical Education Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The health care planners and academicians endorse the differences in gender representation in 'Human resources for health'. Several factors have been implicated for these differences. The present study reports the gender based psychometric analysis of undergraduate medical students' performance in MCQ based assessment. The authors analyzed students' scores and responses of assessment in three subjects i.e. Physiology (pre-clinical), Pharmacology (para-clinical) and Surgery (clinical) for the year 2008 at College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. They compared academic performance and psychometric parameters (item analysis) for male and female students. The female students scored significantly higher than male students in all three disciplines (Physiology, P=0.022; Pharmacology, P=0.006; Surgery, P=0.003). The two genders showed differential psychometric patterns on responses to multiple-choice questions. The numbers of poor items were not significantly different for males and female students as tested by Chi-square, however, the items with poor discriminatory power were not exactly the same for male and female students. These items showed wide differences in biserial correlation. The psychometrics served as differential discriminator for explaining the performance of male and female students. The better performance by female students in MCQ based assessment appears to be due to the subject specificity and specific skills required to attain proficiency in medical sciences. The study reaffirms the point that the psychometric properties vary with population.

Validity and reliability of concept map assessment in problem-based learning

Shereen Mohammed, Salah Kassab

Arabian Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain

The main aim of this study is to test the reliability and validity inferences of concept map assessment in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) in Bahrain. This study is conducted on year 4 medical students (n=114) during the academic year 2006-2007 and retrospectively compared different variables (concept map scores & end-unit scores) in the same cohort when they were in year 2 (n=114) during the academic year 2004-2005. Students' concept maps in Unit VIII (Nervous System & Human Behavior) and Unit II (Life Cycle) concept maps were selected to represent the study sample for the PBL units in year 4 and year 2, respectively. The instrument for evaluation of concept maps used in the current study is developed according to specific criteria used in previous published literature and a modification of the currently used form at AGU. Each concept map was evaluated by five raters independently based on five criteria: Meaningful and valid selection of concepts, proper hierarchical arrangement of concepts, meaningful and valid integration between concepts, degree of student creativity and relationship to the context of the problem. Inter-rater reliability and internal consistency reliability were measured by using Cronbach's Alpha statistics. Concurrent and predictive validity were measured by examining the correlation between scores of concept maps and scores of end-unit and B.Sc exams, respectively. Criterion-related validity was measured by comparing the concept map scores of students in year 2 and year 4. The inter-rater reliability of the concept map assessment was 0.85 and the internal consistency reliability was 0.907. There was significant improvement in the scores of concept maps as students progress from year 2 to year 4 (2-tailed significance P=0.000) indicating some criterion validity-related evidence of the assessment scores. On the other hand, the concurrent and predictive validity-related evidence of the concept map assessment scores is contradictory and dependent on three variables: a) cognitive structure of students, where validity-evidence is established in year 2 and not in year 4 concept maps; b) type of test items, where validity-evidence is established with test items measuring clinical reasoning such as Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and not with multiple choice questions (MCQs). c) The tool of assessment of concept maps Results from this study indicate that the assessment of concept maps using the tool provided in the current study is exhibiting high degree of reliability. The validity-related evidence of the tool is variable and inconsistent. Further studies will be required to develop better-validated tools for concept map assessment in PBL medical schools.

Online and 'onpaper' examinations in anatomy - from steeplechase to Moodle™ via Webct™

Ibrahim M Inuwa

Department of Human and Clinical Anatomy, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Although online teaching is increasingly used in medical education generally and anatomy education in particular, there were few reports of summative anatomy practical examinations administered online. Traditionally, during the preclinical years, summative practical examinations in Anatomy are administered towards the end of the semester/term. The examination usually takes the format of a "steeplechase" or "spotter" in most medical schools regardless of the teaching approach. Recently, we have started to administer similar examinations online using the quiz facility in WebCT™ and Moodle™ . The aim of this communication is to chronicle and compare between two assessment environments (online and 'onpaper') used in Anatomy. In particular, we were interested in investigating the influence of the assessment medium (environment) on student performance, as well as preference of assessment environment. Administratively, we were also interested in evaluating the efficiency of the environment in optimizing staff time. Practical examinations where organized either in the traditional manner ("steeplechase") or online. The online examinations were administered using a course-management system (either WebCT™ or Moodle™). Learning objects such as radiological images, pictures of prosected specimens, line drawings, and short video clips were acquired from resources used for teaching in the practical classes. The images and video clips were resized for optimal viewing on the computer screen and uploaded onto the learning management system. A questionnaire requesting opinion was administered to students who have been exposed to both examination environments. In addition, mean grades were obtained from cohorts of students exposed to both online and 'on paper' formats within the same course and in different courses. Students expressed clear preference to online examination, and believed it was a more user-friendly environment. Within the same course, there was no significant difference in mean performance of students between both environments. However, in some courses, the same cohort of students performed better in online environment. In conclusion, it is our assertion that although time consuming at the beginning, once questions are setup online, it makes their later retrieval and administration very easy. In addition, the online environment offer distinct advantages with regards to question (image) quality and reduction of staff contact time compared to traditional "spotter".

Introducing integrated practical examination for 2 nd year MBBS class

Nazish Rafique

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine that Integrated Practical Examination (IPE) is a better way of assessing the laboratory skills and practical knowledge of the medical students in the preclinical years. Materials and Methods: A multidisciplinary examination team comprising of the team members from the clinical and basic sciences developed relevant objectives, themes, clinical cases, stations, tasks and feedback questionnaire. IPE was implemented successfully by the combined efforts of the faculty members and the laboratory staff. The placement of the clinical cases provided vertical integration, and merging of the practical stations for physiology, anatomy and biochemistry provided horizontal integration. Student and faculty feedback questionnaire was administered at the end of the IPE. Results: Seventy-five percent of the students agreed that IPE as compared to the traditional practical examination is a better way of assessing the laboratory skills and the practical knowledge. Eighty-two percent believed that IPE helped them in understanding the clinical application of the practical skills. Sixty-eight percent responded that basic sciences and clinical concepts were well balanced and integrated. Seventy-nine percent of the faculty members believed IPE was a better way of assessing the knowledge of students. Eighty-two percent responded that IPE evokes critical thinking in the students. Eighty-nine percent of the faculty agreed that IPE should be continued in the future. Conclusion: The current study indicated that IPE was well received by students and faculty and can therefore be employed successfully for assessing the laboratory skills and practical knowledge of the medical students in the preclinical years.

Redesigning the physiology labs - An outcome-based curriculum approach

Talay Yar

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficiency of a new laboratory approach to 1) equip the students with baseline knowledge and skills about causes, risks, effects, and assessment of obesity, and 2) to motivate the students to effectively tackle the challenge of global epidemic of obesity with seriousness. On day one of the laboratory exercise, a prelab questionnaire related to different aspects of obesity, was distributed among the 84 second year participating students attending the physiology course at King Faisal University, Dammam during the year 2008. After the students had handed over the questionnaire, they were challenged about the effects of obesity on spinal shrinkage and heart rate. The students then actively participated in gathering their own anthropometric data and heart rate in supine and erect posture. The cumulative data was analyzed and presented in the second session after one week. A postlab questionnaire was administered after discussion of the data in light of published results to determine the benefit of the exercise in enhancing their knowledge about obesity. Students finally evaluated the lab exercise. There was an overall improvement in awareness about obesity, its seriousness as a global, national and local problem, assessment methods of obesity, and associated risks of obesity by more than 37%, 40%, 52%, and 43%. The final evaluation of laboratory exercise by students showed that 85% enjoyed the sessions, 75% were motivated to learn more about obesity and its effects, and 82% were motivated to follow a more physically active life style. This innovative laboratory approach of generating interest in study of obesity and motivating them to adopt a healthier life style proved to be a success. The program is being extended to introduce and/or modify more relevant lab exercises to reinforce what we have already achieved. This first step might prove to be an important one in preparing our graduates to become role models in dealing with obesity epidemic.

Evaluation of MEQ and MCQ as a tool for assessing the cognitive skills of undergraduate students at department of medicine, Qassim University

Moeen-Uz-zafar, Badr Aljarallah

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Background: It is a day-to-day routine for a clinician to face real life patient's problems. Cognitive skills are essential component of his armamentarium to tackle these problems, make a proper diagnosis and give the correct management. Developing and testing the cognitive skills and abstract thinking of an undergraduate medical student is the main objective of problem-based learning Modified Essay Questions (MEQ) and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) may both be designed to test these skills. This study was done to assess the effectiveness of both forms of questions in testing the different levels of the cognitive skills of undergraduate medical students. Materials and Methods: A total of 50 MEQs and 50 MCQs were evaluated. These questions were Chosen randomly from various examinations given to different batches of Undergraduate medical students taking course MED 411-412 at the Department of Medicine, Qassim University from the years 2005 to 2009. The effectiveness of the questions was determined by the assessors and was defined by the question's ability to measure higher cognitive skills, as determined by modified Bloom's taxonomy, and its quality as determined by the presence of item writing flaws. Results: Forty percent of the MEQs and sixty percent of the MCQs tested the level III (problem solving) cognitive skills of the Students, the remaining merely assessed the recall and comprehension. 16% of the MEQs and 12% of the MCQs had item-writing flaws. Conclusion: Constructing an MEQ for assessing the cognitive skills of a student is not a simple task. A well-constructed MCQ is superior to MEQ in testing the higher cognitive skills of undergraduate medical students in a problem based learning setup. Key words: Modified essay question, Multiple-choice question, Bloom's Taxonomy, cognition.

Developing test blueprints for psychiatry residency in-training written examinations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Eisha M.Gaffas, Reginald P. Sequeira

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Al-Amal Complex for Mental Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The postgraduate training program in psychiatry in Saudi Arabia established in 1997 is a 4-year residency program. Written exams comprising test items (MCQs) are used for summative assessment of residents to determine eligibility for promotion from one year to another. Test blueprints are not used before in preparing examinations. To develop test blueprints for the written examinations in psychiatry residency program. Documentary analysis was used to develop global and detailed test blueprints for each year of the residency program based on the guidelines of professional bodies: Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; and American College of Psychiatrists. An expert panel participated during piloting and final modification of the test blueprints. Their opinion about the content, total weightage for each content domain, and proportion of test items to be sampled in each cognitive category (according to modified Blooms'' taxonomy) were elicited. Eight test blueprints, two for each year (global and detailed) of the psychiatry residency program were developed. The global test blueprints were reviewed by experts, and piloted. Six experts participated at the stage of modifying the test blueprints. Based on expert consensus the content, total weightage for each content domain, and proportion of test items in each cognitive categories to be included, were determined for each test blueprint. Experts also suggested to decrease the weightage for recall type of test items and increase interpretation/problem solving type of test items from year 1 to year 4 of the in-training examinations. A systematic approach to develop test blueprints using an expert panel is appropriate. Test blueprinting is an important step for ensuring test validity in all residency programs.

Credit hours in medical education

Nariman M. El Nashar

Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology, College of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt

Credit hour is the unit by which an institution measures its course work. The number of credit hours assigned to a course quantitatively reflects the outcomes expected, the mode of instruction, the amount of time spent in class, and the amount of outside preparatory work expected for the class. A semester credit hour is the most commonly used system of measuring course work and is usually based on at least a 14-17 week calendar. The talk will answer these questions: 1. What are credit hours? 2. What does a credit hour measure? 3. Credit as a surrogate for cost. 4. Credit as a surrogate for attainment. 5. What is wrong with credits? 6. What is right with credits? 7. What is academic advisement.

Scoring team-based projects: comparison of three scoring methods to evaluate students in team projects

Mona Al-Sheikh

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Purpose of the Study: Finding a reliable feasible method to score individual performance in teamwork. Background: In team-based learning, assessment is a critical issue. If overall team scores are solely considered, students' motivation to actively participate is affected and only one or two students perform the whole task. How to motivate every single student and fairly evaluate their performance is one of the major issues in Team-based projects. Materials and Methods: Over three academic years (298 students), female third year medical students prepared a poster on a neurophysiology topic as the yearly assignment. Each team consisted of 8-13 students. Three ways for scoring the projects were used and evaluated. In the L. D. Fink method, each student has a team score and an individual score. Team score is obtained by adding the average of 10 instructors' evaluation of the whole poster (50%) to the main instructor evaluation (50%). Individual score is obtained by taking the average of the peer assessment by each team member. Results: A modified L.D. Fink scoring method was found to be more reliable, produced reasonable score variation between members of each team, and had better correlations with cumulative GPA of individual students than the other 2 methods. Details of the scoring method are described. Conclusion: This modified L.D. Fink scoring method for teamwork is reliable and feasible. It can be used to score individual students involved in team projects.

King Abdulaziz University medical students' perception of medical education researches

Daad Akbar, Hani Asfor

King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Background: We are moving to a new era in the history of Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University,(FOM-KAU) where we are implementing a new curriculum (system based integrated curriculum). Medical students are the main participants in different studies and they are the ones who will be affected directly by the quality of our teaching. Objective: This study was conducted to determine the medical students' perceptions of medical education research and their role as research participants. Materials and Methods: We used a validated questionnaire prepared by KCUMB- COM which consists of eight close-ended questions. We distributed this questionnaire to preclinical student and clinical student (about 20% of each phase) with equal male to female ratio. A total of 200 preclinical student (20%) and 240 clinical students (20%) completed the questionnaire. Results: Three hundred eighty-five participants (87%) believe that medical education research should be conducted at FOM-KAU in an effort to improve their medical training, while 51 participants (12%) did not think so and 4 participants (1%) did not answer this question. No significant differences was found between preclinical and clinical medical students, However, more females medical students indicated that medical education researches should be conducted compared to males, 93% compared to 82% respectively (P 0.003). Our results shows that medical students do not feel coerced to participate in medical education research studies. Students believe that they need special protection when asked to serve in medical education research studies, 350 (80%) said yes with no significant differences between preclinical and clinical years or gender. Conclusions: Students believe that medical education research should be conducted to improve medical training but only two-third has interest in participation. They do not feel coerced to participate as a subject and they believe their participation would result in better grades recommendations. Male students seemed to be more concerned about confidentiality for participation whether they are anonymous or not. About half of the students feel violated if their input was used for the purpose of medical education research and majority believe they need special protection.

Determinants of effective clinical learning: A student and teacher perspective

Ali I. Al-Haqwi, Henk T. van der Molen, Henk G. Schmidt, Mohi Eldin Magzoub

King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: To determine the features of clinical experiences within a medical curriculum that promotes students' clinical competence. Materials and Methods: Twenty-four medical students, divided into three focus groups, were interviewed to express their views on the question: "Which experiences or activities during your medical education have contributed to the development of your clinical competence?" Another focus group interview was conducted among five teachers. The outcomes of the tape-recorded focus group interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a framework analysis approach. Results: Students identified five main themes which affect their clinical learning: (1) the provision of authentic clinical learning experiences, (2) organizational issues of clinical sessions, (3) clinical cases related issues, (4) supervision and (5) students' learning skills. These themes were further subdivided into 18 sub themes. Teachers identified three main themes: (1) organizational issues, (2) supervision and (3) provision of authentic experiences. Conclusion: For effective clinical learning, these themes should be considered in the development of medical curricula.

Emotional intelligence of medical students in problem-based learning medical school

Sara Al Shammari

Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, Arabian Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain

Aims: 1) To assess the pattern of emotional intelligence (EI) in medical students and the changes in this pattern as they study in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. 2) To examine gender differences in EI of medical students. 3) To examine the relationship between EI and academic achievement of medical students. Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted on all the students in first and fourth years at the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain which are 286 students. The data was collected using the EI Questionnaire which consists of 55 items using a five point Likert-type scale. Items of the Questionnaires were analyzed under five clusters: empathy, self-management, emotional regulation, adaptability and interpersonal management. Results: The total EI scores among first and fourth 3.0). There±year medical students were found to show a high level of EI (146.7 was no difference between males and female students with respect to total EI level, empathy, self management and adaptability. However, there are significant differences in emotional regulation and interpersonal management. Male students had a higher level of emotional regulation than female students, while female students had a higher level of interpersonal relationship management than male students. PBL maintain the high level of EI. EI scores can predict the academic achievement of medical students in future exams. Conclusion: PBL maintains the high level of EI in medical students. EI scores can be used as a predictor for academic performance of medical students. Further studies that explore the relationship between EI and group dynamics in PBL tutorials are required.

The humanization of medical education: A model for tailoring behavioral sciences for medical education

Saeed Wahass

Neuroscience Centre and Department of Psychiatry, King Fahd Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Behavioral sciences have become an urgent demand for medical education worldwide for three reasons. Firstly, evidently, behavior plays a major role in the onset and progression of both physical and mental disorders, moreover behavior can prevent most of the mortal diseases. Therefore, tomorrow's doctors have to be familiar with the behavioral health care. Secondly, methods of learning have shifted from the traditional "spoon-feeding" to the problem-based learning. For that reason, medical students have to know the better learning. Thirdly, most of medical faculties come up with pure medical background without exposing as much as necessary to educational psychology, which is the fundamental of the real teaching and learning. Accordingly, new and old faculties might benefit from the applications of educational psychology. Lastly, medical students may have maladaptive behaviors and adjustment problems, a faculty member has to be a counselor, assisting them the way of being able to overcome these sufferings and difficulties. That is why the skills of counseling psychology for faculties are recommended. Taken as a whole, all indorses the humanization of medical education right through integrating behavioral sciences within medical curricula and medical education settings. This presentation seeks to tailor behavioral sciences (as a basic, health and clinical discipline), covering the whole medical curricula. Achieving that, however permits our tomorrow's doctors the privileges of working under the umbrella of patient-centered care and to be familiar with patients'' needs, not merely diseases'' needs (the comprehensive practice).

Simulation in ENT medical education at Al-Ahsa college of medicine

Kamal-Eldin Ahmed Abou-Elhamd, Ali Al Sultan, Usama Mohammed Rashad

Department of ENT, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Medical simulation has recently become one of the continuing medical education methods. It started years ago by teaching anatomy using physical models. With advancement in computer technology, simulation haptic devices are now available. These provide the trainees with realistic environment to traditional surgery without the risks of patients surgeon contact. We started to teach part of the ear, nose and throat (ENT) course to the fifth year medical students at Al-Ahsa College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia using simulation laboratory since 2007. We teach them the ENT anatomy on physical models, ear diseases on physical models, ENT examination by watching video recordings and an idea about the common ENT operations using computer associated mannequin for laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy, haptic temporal bone surgery simulator for mastoidectomy and functional endoscopic sinus surgery and cricothyrotomy and tracheotomy on mannequin. We found a great difference in scientific perception and comprehension with the usage of these methods. This paper reviews the medical simulation in ENT speciality and shows where we are in Al-Ahsa College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia.

Learning anatomy by dissection vs. study of prosected specimens: Which way to go?

M. A. Al Motabagani, A. M. Al Rubaish, M.F. AbuHijleh, M. H. Al Sheikh

Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Aim: This study was undertaken to determine whether there is a difference in medical students' test scores using prosected specimens in the learning process of anatomy in practical sessions compared with students using traditional active cadaveric dissection. Settings and Sampling: Anatomy was delivered in the form of three lectures (one hour each) and one practical session (3 hours) per week for one academic year. All 2 nd year undergraduate medical students who registered for the Anatomy Course (MDAT 202) during the Academic Year 2007 participated in the present study. The male students (n=102) were divided into two groups, namely high and low achievers. The ranking of students into high and low achievers was based on their final scores at end of the previous academic year (2006). High achievers scored between 85-100% while low achievers scored between 70-84%. Each group of students was equally but randomly divided into two subgroups. The four subgroups were combined into two major Task Groups (TG); each task group contained high and low achievers. Study Design: For the study of the upper limb, both male and female students of the TG 1 conducted their practical assignments via cadaveric dissection, while students of TG 2 were given prosected specimens. For the Lower Limb the same protocol was applied to both task groups but with a "Cross-Over Design." In addition, all task groups were given the same additional ancillary materials, which included plastinated specimens, X-rays, dry bones, plastic models,  Atlas More Detailses, and museum specimens. Materials and Methods: Assessment of learning outcomes in the present study was by both written multiple-choice question (MCQ) tests and practical laboratory examinations (tag tests). Dissectors were compared with those of the corresponding high and low achievers of the male and female Nondissectors, respectively. Results: No significant difference could be detected amongst corresponding groups of high or low achievers, between "Dissectors" and "Non-dissectors", studying either of the two extremities, in all types of exams, and in both sexes. That is either of the two methods, dissection or prosection, has the same effect on the student performance in all types of exams. Conclusion: The present study supports the view that students can learn anatomy by dissection or from pre-dissected specimens.

First aid in the medical curriculum at KFU: Problem and remedy

Zeinab EM Afifi

Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Purpose of the Study: First aid is a life saving necessity. This study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of the medical curriculum at KFU in helping students acquire the basic first aid knowledge and skills. Specifically to: 1. Assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of first aid among first year students 2. Compare it with the KAP of first aid among 3rd year (end of preclinical years) and 6th year (end of clinical years) students to identify the changes in these parameters with progress in medical years 3. Explore the contribution of college to first aid knowledge and the possible routes for improving the status quo. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was developed including 18 items assessing knowledge of basic first aid facts, 4 items assessing attitudes toward learning first aid and willingness to participate in first aid learning activities, and 7 common situations to assess their practices of first aid. The sample included all 110 male and female students consenting participation. 45, 40 and 25 from the 1st, 3rd and 6th years respectively. A general knowledge score (GNS) and general knowledge score % (GNS%) were calculated and compared together with attitudes and practices in the 3 student cohorts. Analysis of variance, Post Hoc tests for multiple comparisons and chi square are the tests of significance used. Results: Analysis showed a significant difference in the knowledge of 8 out of the 18 tested items (P<0.05). Significantly, higher proportions of the 6th year students knew what to do facing a dressing with blood seeping through, the frequency of mouth-to-mouth breathing and compressions in CPR, management of minor burn and dislocated finger, and the aim of the primary survey of a patient in emergency situation. The GNS and GNS% were significantly higher (P=0.027) in the 6th year group (10.5±1.3 & 58.3 ± 7.3) than the 1st (8.6 ± 2.4 & 48 ± 13.3) and 3rd year groups (8.6 ± 2.9 & 47.8 ±16.3). The reported sources of information about first aid in order of frequency are media (37%), school (30%) and college (17%). Students had a very positive attitude toward learning first aid. Two thirds felt that they do not have the minimum knowledge for application of first aid procedures. More than 90% of them (all stages) thought they should learn about and take course(s) in first aid (76% in preclinical years and 24% in clinical years). More than 2 thirds thought the college is not doing what it should in spreading knowledge and awareness about first aid. That was expressed by all 6th year students. 77% expressed their preparedness to immediately enroll in a training session / course. Suffocation, fainting colleague and diabetic comma were the most encountered situations. Conclusion: Knowledge and skills of first aid are markedly defective among medical students especially during the preclinical years. Their attitudes are positive toward learning. A course(s) is recommended especially during the preclinical years. Considering the current curriculum, a course of Health education (HE) is offered to female students and a course Physical Education (PE) is offered to male students. HE is extensively taught in community courses for 2nd to 4th year's students. PE need not be taught in a course context. Accordingly, we recommend that they be replaced by an applied compulsory course in first aid before the students get overwhelmed with basic science courses. Acknowledgement: Thanks to the 3rd year medical students who actively participated in that work.

Curriculum reform and the future direction of the medical laboratory technology program

Layla Bashawri

Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

A periodic review of the curriculum is a key element for the success any educational program. The Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Program at King Faisal University has undergone repeated reviews of its curriculum. Recently, we evaluated the curriculum through an academic staff members committee which thoroughly reviewed it and we proposed certain changes and finally implemented those changes into the program structure. We also investigated the student's views about the changes in the curriculum through a structured questionnaire. This paper describes the different changes that have occurred in the MLT curriculum and the senior students'' and recent graduates'' view of the program. It also discusses the introduction of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and more emphasis on case studies in MLT.

Experience with establishing a masters degree program in medical laboratory technology

Layla Bashawri, El-Harith A. El-Harith, Basil Al-Sheikh, Hatem Qutub

College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

A pioneer Masters Degree Program in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) has been launched in the College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Faisal University, in the academic year 1425 - 1426 (2004 - 2005). The program's major goal was to satisfy the aspirations of medical laboratory technologists to pursue higher studies in order to qualify as specialists capable of contributing more effectively to the development of the medical services in the country and in the region. The graduates of this program are expected to gain experience that enables them to take leading positions, maintain high quality service, participate in and initiate medical research studies, and enroll in the academia. The assigned study duration in this program is four semesters. The plan of study comprises nine specialized courses, amounting to 27 credit hours. In addition, candidates have to undertake a research study, amounting to 6 credit hours, that ends in submission of a thesis and passing an oral examination. These conditions for the award of the Masters Degree are in line with the Unified Guidelines for Graduates Studies in the Universities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the first five years of the program, about 40 students have applied for admission, a reflection of the high need for the program. The majority of applicants have Bachelors Degrees in MLT or Clinical Laboratory Sciences, but a few applicants are graduates of other science disciplines. In this preliminary phase of the program, only four candidates can be admitted every other academic year into the program; however, there are plans to increase the admission. Up to present time, three candidates have successfully completed their studies and were awarded the Masters degrees, three students are completing the final requirement (research project) for award of the degree, and four candidates have been selected and will start their studies soon. There is an increasing demand for postgraduate studies in medical laboratory technology. This paper discusses our experience with establishment of such a Program and our perspective of future development of this vital health care discipline.

Integrating public health in a medical curriculum: The Arabian Gulf University experience

Randah R. Hamadeh, Khaldoon A. Al Roomi

College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain

The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) is a joint endeavor of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries .Since its inception in 1982, the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), AGU adopted a problem- based community oriented curriculum. The medical program comprises of three phases: pre-medical, pre-clerkship and clerkship, with the main contribution of community medicine being in the first two phases. The input in the pre-medical phase is through a structured program in biostatistics and epidemiology whereas in the pre-clerkship phase, it is developed within health problems along with community programs involving public health, child health, maternal health, family studies and community oriented research. The innovative curriculum includes case studies which are either entirely or partially public health oriented problems that emerged in the region. For example, an environmental health problem addressing pollution evolves around the 1991 oil fires of Kuwait and the role of the epidemiologist as a health detective in investigating and controlling an epidemic is introduced through the investigation of a gastroenteritis outbreak during the Hajj season. In addition, social and disaster epidemiology and basic concepts of demography are introduced in a problem on the life of Palestinian refugees. Moreover, the community programs address the main concepts of evidenced- based public health through field visits, projects and workshops. The public health component of the program provides medical students with opportunities to understand its importance in disease prevention and sustainability of population health. Thus, the curriculum at the CMMS, AGU, not only equips future doctors with clinical skills but prepares them to be public health advocates as well.

Student presentations: A theoretical model towards quality enhancement in medical education

Abdelmageed Imam

Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Student presentation is a recognized useful activity that promotes deep learning. The student is usually motivated to learn by the need to fully understand the subject of the health program. In this report, we suggest a conceptual model that seeks to support the approach where the student appreciates and enjoy his own learning. The emphasis is mainly on the idea that students use their first language sources (outside the school), so as to grasp the essentials of the subject. We do not share the impression among some teachers that students are not intrinsically motivated to spend time on their studies. It is common sense that informal bilingual teaching and learning is rewarding to our students. Future research is likely to generate evidence and identify factors that justify such speculations. This communication will also refer to one-year observations at Qassim School, the first to adopt PBL hybrid approach in Saudi Arabia.

Problem-based learning (PBL) in medical education

Eman Muhammad EL Nashar

Histology and Cell Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt

The principal objectives of PBL is the acquisition of an extensive, integrated knowledge base that is readily recalled and applied to the analysis and care of patient problems. The development of effective and efficient: Problem solving or clinical reasoning skills Clinical skills Self-directed learning skills Team skills. Medical Education Essentials 1. Students must have the responsibility for their own learning. 2. The problem simulations used in problem-based learning must be ill structured and allow for free inquiry. 3. Collaboration is essential. 4. What students learn during their self-directed learning must be applied back to the problem with reanalysis and resolution. 5. A closing analysis of what has been learned from work with the problem and a discussion of what concepts and principles have been learned is essential. 6. Continual opportunities must be provided for clinical skills to be learned. 7. The sequence of activities carried out in problem-based learning, and problems employed in problem-based learning, must accurately reflect medical practice. 8. Student examinations must measure student progress towards the goals of problem-based learning. 9. Problem-based learning must be the pedagogical base in the curriculum and not part of a didactic curriculum.

Outcome-based curriculum "A draft proposal"

Shyam Parashar

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Aim: A curriculum that produces 'safe doctors' as its final outcome. Rationale: The number of Saudi graduates is increasing every year. However, the numbers are not enough to meet all the demands of the community for the doctors and other health professionals. It is therefore natural that most of the medical graduates aspires for higher education and to work in centers with well-established facilities and infra structure. A day will come soon, when such opportunities will become highly competitive and most of the graduates will have to satisfy themselves with General and Family practice. An outcome-based curriculum should foresee these developments and aim at producing doctors who will be ideally suited to deal with community health problems at the level of a general and family practitioners. Ambitious and eligible candidates can still compete for specialized training positions. This outcome-based curriculum should include just the basic community health problems, and leave the specialties as part of higher studies. In present curriculum, students are exposed to detailed teaching of conditions which perhaps they will never be able to deal with their practice. It is our view that "Trauma and Emergency Medicine" should be taught in detail covering initial management of all the Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Emergencies. Objectives: At the end of this outcome-based curriculum, the graduate will be able to:- Understand that prevention is better than cure; and will be able to assist in organizing community-based preventive measures, recognize that practice of medicine is "Holistic" and cannot be compartmentalized in physical psycho-somatic or socio-medical segments, realize that diagnosis and management of persons' maladies require thorough knowledge and understanding of the patho-physiological processes, appreciate his ability to manage 'simple maladies' and the need to seek help of 'specialties' for 'serious' conditions and situations, provide 'initial' and first aid management for emergency situations, take all possible 'life saving' measures in 'life threatening' situations, avoid adventures, explorations and experiments with lives that are entrusted to him, and act as a 'Role model' for the community and lead by his own actions and ethical behavior. The curriculum concepts: 1. It must be established by the community surveys as to what are the most common medical and health problems in the community. 2. Students should be provided maximum exposures to these conditions in their curriculum. 3. Exposures to Basic Medical Sciences should be limited to 'applied' aspects only. 4. General medicine and family and community medicine should be the major part of the clinical curriculum. Conclusions: On an average, the practice of general and family practitioner should consist of: 20% Preventive and Community Medicine; 20% General Medicine; 20% Women and Children's Diseases, 20% Trauma and Emergency Medicine; 10% Surgery, ENT and Ophthalmology, 10% Dermatology and Psychiatry. The clinical curriculum should be proportionately distributed. Teaching should be continuous and integrated, rather than in blocks.

Study on training needs of critical care nurses

Amal Sowaiket

Department of Nursing, Al-Khafji Joint Operations Hospital, Al-Khafji, Saudi Arabia

Background: Nurses are facing remarkable challenges in nursing care in the critical care areas especially in dealing with emergency cases. They are confronted with circumstances and scenarios when they need to make crucial and urgent decisions for patients with life-threatening conditions. Hence, determining the most appropriate training program is a big challenge especially in an environment where the nursing staff consists of professionals with different educational backgrounds, clinical experiences, related practices, and culture. Aim: This study aims to determine the baseline training needs from expert critical care staff nurses perspectives. Moreover, it also attempts to determine the preferred learning methods of delivery of such training needs, in the future planning and tangible implementation of the in-service training programme, of the critical care staff nurses, in the Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) Hospital. Materials and Methods: Consensus was achieved by establishing a direct individual judgment in the form of suggestions and applying the Delphi Technique. Survey questionnaires were given in sequence until consensus was reached as revealed by appropriate statistical treatment. Result: The three most important training requirements for the current training needs were "Stress Management", "Team Building", and "Emergency Response Management". In the future training needs it was revealed that "Updates in Critical Care Nursing", "Communication" "Conflict Management", and "Equipment Handling" were the highest priorities for critical care staff nurses in the KJO Hospital. These training needs were unanimously suggested to be addressed by way of "Interactive Lecture", "Lecture", and "Lecture/Skills Demonstrations" methods. Conclusion: This study revealed that "Stress Management", "Team Building", and "Emergency Response Management" were the top current training needs as indicated by the KJO hospital staff nurses. "Updates in Critical Care Nursing", "Communication and Conflict Management", and "Equipment Handling" were identified as the top priorities for the nurses' future training requirements. Finally, KJOH staff nurses preferred "Interactive Lecture", "Lecture", and "Lecture/Skills Demonstration" as the preferred instructional methods.

Design and implementation of integrated endocrinology and reproduction module for second year MBBS class

Nazish Rafique

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: Under the existing system of undergraduate curriculum, teaching was done in a non-integrated, discipline-based manner. Several areas of redundancy and overlapping along with a gap between the qualitative and quantitative advancement in medical education prompted us to design and implement a curriculum with highest degree of horizontal and vertical integration for undergraduate medical students of Shifa College of Medicine. Objectives: The objective was to develop and implement a module for ENR in basic sciences which would incorporate and focus on integrated learning using multiple teaching methodologies. It also aimed to assess the feasibility and importance for the continuation of ENR module in the coming years. Materials and Methods: A multidisciplinary ENR modular team comprising of 15 highly relevant team members from the clinical and basic sciences , finalized the clinical cases, themes, relevant objectives, learning strategies, time table and assessment tools. ENR Module was presented and was approved by the faculty forum of Shifa College of Medicine. Learning strategies used were large group interactive sessions (LGIS), small group discussions (SGDs), problem based learning (PBL), self-directed learning(SDL) and practical sessions. Assessment tools used were short answer questions (SAQs) and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Student and faculty feedback questionnaire was administered at the end of module. Results: Students: 65% of the students agreed that integrated teaching is better than the traditional teaching. 71% of the students responded that the integrated approach makes learning and understanding easy. 52% of the students agreed that there was well-balanced horizontal and vertical integration and LGIS, SGDs and PBLs were complimenting each other. 70% students favored the continuation of the integrated approach in future. Faculty: 86% of the faculty responded that integrated teaching is better than the traditional teaching. 76% of the facilitators agreed that they were able to motivate students for critical thinking through SGDs and PBLs. 80% of the faculty was in favor of continuation of the integrated approach in the future. Conclusion: In conclusion, students and faculty well received the idea of delivering the curriculum via the integrated means and favored its continuation in the future. So integrated curricular delivery can be implemented successfully in undergraduate medical education.

Educational environment measurement in the college of medicine, KFU-Dammam

Mona Al-Sheikh, Abdullah Al-Rubaish, Kameshwar Prasad

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Purpose of the Study : To measure the influence of Curriculum type (traditional vs. PBL, gender and year of study on the student satisfaction with their educational environment. Materials and Methods: DREEM and another locally designed tool by focus groups were used to measure the educational environment in KFU. A total of 530 students were surveyed using both tools. The questionnaire was given in paper format. Results : PBL students were generally more satisfied (2.44)with their educational environment than traditional students (1.93). Females (1.74) were less satisfied than males (1.89) in the traditional curriculum but were (2.71) more satisfied than males (2.26) in the PBL curriculum. Early medical school students (2.04)) were more satisfied than clinical year students (1.74). Discussion : Educational Environment measurement is a useful evaluation tool that can diagnose deficiencies in the educational environment with respect to various sectors. DREEM looks at Perception of Learning, Perception of Teachers, Academic Self Perception, Student Perception of Academic Atmosphere and Social Self Perception. Conclusion : PBL Educational Environment is more satisfying to KFU medical Students than traditional curriculum. The main deficiencies in the educational environment in KFU medical school lie in the clinical years. Gender comparisons show that females are more satisfied in the PBL but less so in the traditional curriculum. Further analysis of each sector is expected to shed light on the major deficiencies in the educational environment.

Intricacies of medical curriculm change and experience at Umm Al-Qura University

Abdulwahab Telmesani, Abdulaziz Khotani

Medical College, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Curriculum change/reform in the medical colleges is a complex process because of the unique nature of its study and execution. The complexity becomes more evident when the traditional undergraduate programs get in to the process of curricular change. A meta analysis showed that going against the institutions beliefs, history of unsuccessful past trial of curricular change, not getting the internal and external politics straight, poor communication with the faculty, not identifying the opponents, and lack of dedication and leadership are major factors of failure. The college of medicine at Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) made a strategic decision to start a reform process towards what we decided to call Defined Learning i.e. outcome based, integrated and student centered curriculum. This presentation will discuss the obstacles of curricular change and how to overcome it. The experience at the UQU and the suggested model we are intending to apply will be presented to get the audience feedback.

Need assessment survey of faculty development programs in King Faisal University-Dammam

B.V. Adkoli, K.U. Al-Umran, M.H. Al-Sheikh, K.K. Deepak, A.M. Al-Rubaish

Medical Education Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: Faculty development lays the foundation for quality enhancement in medical education. The Medical Education Unit (MEU) at KFHU has been organizing faculty development workshops on regular basis. A need assessment survey was carried out to identify the specific needs of the faculty in order to plan future activities. Methods: A comprehensive questionnaire with 3-point rating scale was administered to all faculty members (N=210). The issues addressed were perceived importance vs. self-rated performance on twelve tasks, suggested activities for faculty development and the extent of time which they can spare as potential participants or resource persons for the MEU activities. An open-ended question was provided to elicit comments and suggestions. Results: A large majority of the faculty members rated all twelve tasks as ''highly important'' and their performance as ''good''. However, the tasks which were felt ''highly important'' or ''moderately important'', but the performance as ''average'' or ''poor'' were identified as: planning curriculum, developing learning resources, evaluating courses and conducting research. These tasks would serve as focal point for future intervention. The activities prioritized by the respondents were orientation workshops for the new faculty, research & dissemination through on-line and print media, and workshops on specialized topics (MCQs, OSCE, e-learning). The respondents were willing to spare two hours per week as participants or resource persons. The respondents stated time constraints, lack of incentive and recognition to the contributions of teaching as the main handicap in faculty development. They demanded more number of workshops to be held frequently, greater involvement of faculty, and evaluation of post workshop performance in their work setting.

Educational jeopardy style game as a teaching methodology

Mohd Nasim Khan, Abdulwahab Telmesani, Abdulaziz Khotani, Abdulaziz Elzouki

Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Umm-Alqura University, Makkah,Saudi Arabia

The purpose of this study was to evaluate student learning and their satisfaction with interactive Jeopardy style game with standard didactic lecture format. Fifth year medical students were randomized to two groups. One group was taught viral exanthem lecture in didactic format while other received the same in Jeopardy style game format by the same instructor. Students in each group completed a pretest, posttest and satisfaction survey. Satisfaction survey consisted of seven questions using a 5-point Likert scale. The content of the lecture, pretest and posttest was validated by the curriculum committee of the department. Paired sample t-test was used to compare test scores and satisfaction survey in both groups. 82 students participated in the study (41 in each group). Both the groups showed significant improvement in their knowledge on the posttest as compared to pre test score. Posttest score comparison between the two groups was not significant. However, there was significant difference in the two groups on satisfaction survey. Students taught in the game format found it more enjoyable, rated it higher in stimulating faculty/ student interaction, stimulating their interest and keeping them engaged in the class content. Jeopardy style game format was an effective method of teaching viral exanthem. It was found to be more enjoyable and stimulating to the students. These innovative methods could be used as an effective tool in medical education for instructing other topics as well.

Teaching the teachers: A proposal for improving medical teaching in Saudi Arabia

Ahmed A. Al-Kuwaiti

Department of Public Relations, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Objective: To improve medical teaching in Saudi Arabia with a focus on the teachers themselves, in order to meet the increasing demands being placed on the healthcare system as a result of a rapidly changing population. Design: Literature review on current issues in medical education and the situation of medical teaching in Saudi Arabia, in support of a proposal for the provision of teacher training for Saudi medical teachers. Materials and Methods: This proposal will investigate the key skills needed by medical teachers, and will suggest ways in which training in these skills may be included in faculty development programmes to be introduced in Saudi Arabia. Setting: Published materials, including books, journals (hard copies and online) and websites. Results: The review shows that teaching skills play an important part in the development of future medical doctors in Saudi. It is necessary for teachers to have a broad awareness of both teaching and learning skills, as well as to develop specific skills in lecturing, teaching small groups, teaching practical and clinical skills, assessing students, developing and using teaching materials, and planning lessons. To achieve this, programmes of teacher training need to be implemented and coordinated with programmes that aid students in the development of learning skills. In addition, and in order to sustain high-quality medical teaching, appropriate support mechanisms must be provided. Conclusion: There is great need for the various arms involved in Saudi medical education to coordinate their objectives in order to work together towards developing programmes for the improvement of medical teachers' teaching skills.

Motivation, attitude, strategies for learning, and students' perception towards their computer laboratory learning environment at department of HIMT - College of applied medical sciences - Saudi Arabia

Mona Faisal Al-Qahtani

Department Health Information Medical Technology, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The fundamental objective of education is to facilitate students' learning. Students' learning is influenced by multiple variables. Such variables are embedded mainly in students' motivation, attitude, learning strategies, and characteristics of environment where learning is taking place. Many measures have been designed to identify students' motivation, attitude, learning strategies and students' perception towards their learning environment in many disciplines. However, a limited number of such measures have integrated the role of computers on students' perception of their learning environment, attitude towards computers, and motivated strategies for learning. Most of studies concerning the above issues have been conducted in Western countries. However, in the author's knowledge, none of studies have explored such issues in Saudi Arabia within the applied medical education context, mainly health information management and technology (HIMT), whereas the computer is used as a means of learning in itself. The aim of this study is five fold. First, to identify the laboratory learning environment factors affecting the learning of computer and computing courses of HIMT students. Second, to investigate students' attitude towards studying computer and computing courses. Third, to identify students' motives for learning. Fourth, to explore students' learning strategies. Fifth, to investigate if there is any relationship between students' academic achievement, perception towards computer laboratory learning environment, attitude, motivation and learning strategies. It is also the purpose of this study to determine whether the years of study have any significant effect on the above issues. The target population includes all students in second, third, and fourth year at the Department of HIMT, King Faisal University. The main research methods used are three measures. The first is to assess students' perception of their computer laboratory-learning environment using the Computer Learning Environment Inventory. The second is to investigate students' attitude towards studying computer and computing courses using the Attitude towards Computers and Computing Courses Questionnaire. The third is to explore students' motivation and learning strategies using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Non-parametric statistics tests were conducted. The general findings indicated the following: (1) the year of study influences the degree of satisfaction with the computer learning environment; attitude towards computer and computing; the extent of test anxiety and the degree of managing resources; (2) there are strong associations between computer environment variables and the following: attitude; motivation; and learning strategies; (3) the value components of motivation as well as cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies are consistent regardless of seniority, with exception of rehearsal; (4) the rehearsal strategies are used by all students, however the level of utilization vary with seniority; (5) there are strong positive associations between students' academic achievement and the following: motivation, cognitive, meta-cognitive, resource management strategies, and computer environment factors. It is anticipated that making use of the information acquired in this study will improve the computer-learning environment in the department of HIMT, and will accordingly possess a constructive influence on students' learning in Saudi Arabia.

The impact of the establishment of medical education unit on changing assessment practices

Khalid U. Al-Umran, Mona H. Al-Sheikh, Balachandra V. Adkoli, Abdullah M. Al-Rubaish

Medical Education Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Introduction: Medical Education Units play an important role in enhancing teacher's knowledge and skills. However, their influence in bringing about organizational changes has been rarely demonstrated. This study assessed the effect of the establishment of Medical Education Unit (MEU) on assessment practices of a medical school in the Gulf Region. Materials and Methods: The results of a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate courses held in 2005 served as baseline data. Two major interventions in 2005 were the establishment of MEU and an Examination Center. Eleven workshops were organized to sensitize the faculty. The Examination Center gave feedback to course coordinators on the performance of students as well as the quality of tests through item analysis. The present survey was conducted by administering questionnaires to thirty-four coordinators and comparing the assessment practices with the baseline data of 2005. Results: The authors found an increased objectivity in the selection of tools. They also found an increase in the proportion of courses following good practices in assessment, viz. setting question papers by a group of teachers, use of marking scheme, double marking, OSCE/OSPE, computerized marking and sharing item analysis reports with departmental colleagues. Conclusion: It is concluded that the workshops held by MEU and the feedback given to the faculty by the Examination Center contributed to the improvement of assessment practices.

Students' evaluation of individual faculty's teaching skills: Results of a pilot study from Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Al-Rubaish, Sheikh Idris Abdel Rahim, Ammar Hassan, Amein Al Ali, Fatma Mokabel, Mohammed Hegazy, Lade Wosornu

Colleges of Medicine & Nursing, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: Academic accreditation of universities in Saudi Arabia is by the NCAAA - National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment. Its "Course Evaluation Survey" [CES] to be completed by students helps to evaluate effectiveness of teaching. However, NCAAA has other requirements: Faculty maintain portfolio of evaluation; conclusions are based on valid evidence" (3) and benchmarks should include external comparison. Aim: The aim of this study was two-fold: (1) To develop a statistically sound questionnaire to be completed by students on individual faculty members' teaching skills. (2) The result can be used for benchmarking the Institution. Setting: King Faisal University, Dammam, (KFU-D), College of Nursing, second semester 2008/09. Materials and Methods: The starting document was the highly rated "Monash Questionnaire Series on Teaching (MonQueST) - Clinical Nursing. The KFU-D modification retained four areas and seven response options, but reduced items from 26 to 20, and, word count by 35%. All instructors and students in clinical nursing courses. Data were analyzed by SPSS Version 13, including factor analyses and internal reliability tested with Cornbach's α coefficient for four areas in seven modules, using the individual student as unit of analysis. The means of the students' perception scores per area per instructor were calculated, and, hence their overall means and one-way ANOVA. Results: A total of 21 instructors in seven courses were evaluated by 84 students. All four areas and 20 items were contributory. The observed α coefficients ranged from 0.78 to 0.93 in six modules. The students' overall means between instructors showed a significant difference ( P < 0.01). This would support ranking of the instructors per module, if required. Conclusions: The modified MonQueST was statistically fit for the intended purpose. It could provide reliable, valid and objective data which can be used formatively. This includes individualized needs assessment for the professional development of faculty, as well as external benchmark for the Institution.

Student perceptions of early clinical exposure in a respiratory care program

Mohammad Yadak

Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: There is a trend to introduce early clinical exposure (ECE) in various health profession programs. Educational theories on adult learning support the use of ECE in order to promote motivation of deep learning, student-centered learning, integration and relevance. Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of Respiratory Therapy students on early introduction of clinical skills teaching. Different components of ECE programme such as the advantages, implementation, performance of clinical instructors, structure and organization of ECE have been evaluated. Materials and Methods: Seventy-one Respiratory Care Students who completed their ECE course successfully were asked to fill a questionnaire using a Likert- scale. The questionnaire was developed based on the main themes that emerged from the focus group interviews. Results: In general, students appreciated the introduction of ECE, although they identified difficulties in its implementation. Majority of respondents agreed, "It was good to introduce clinical skills in the early years of the curriculum". On the other hand, students were not satisfied with some aspects of the organization and structure of ECE such as the way it was conducted, the manual used, and the adequacy of time allocated for ECE sessions. Some of the students felt that clinical instructors needed to familiarize themselves with various components of the curriculum and also needed to enhance their skills in history taking and physical examination. An overall degree of agreement with ECE was found to be good, although the degree of agreement varied between the different themes of ECE, and was found to be greater in males than in females. There was a significant difference in the perceptions of different batches of students about early clinical exposure. Conclusion: The introduction of ECE in Respiratory Care program can be useful and has a positive impact on student learning and on their attitude toward the profession. However, planning and organization of ECE components, training and orientation of clinical instructors, setting clear objectives for clinical sessions, and effective time management are important factors and are prerequisites for successful implementation of early clinical exposure.

Reliability of a course evaluation questionnaire: Results of a preliminary study

A. Al-Rubaish, A. Youssef, M. Noureldin, A. Al Ali, E. Larbi, A. Al-Zahrani, M. Hegazy, H. Qutub, L. Wosornu

King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: King Faisal University [KFU] is in the first wave of Institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeking accreditation from the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment [NCAAA]. Feedback from students using surveys is one of the tools for assessing the effectiveness of teaching and quality of courses. It is mandatory that all aspects of the survey process are critically examined in order to optimize the value of the results. Setting: KFU Dammam, Colleges of Medicine, Applied Medical Sciences and Nursing, and, Quality Management Unit. Aim: To explore the test-retest reliability of the Course Evaluation Questionnaire provided by NCAAA as a measure of the quality of courses taught. Materials and Methods: The NCAAA Course Evaluation Questionnaire (NCAAA-CEQ) consists of 23 items grouped into three course periods: start, during, and end of the course, plus an overall evaluation question. It was administered twice with one-week interval to students of randomly selected courses. Reliability was assessed using the intra-class correlation coefficient and the constructed Bland Altman plot. The reproducibility of the NCAAA-CEQ was tested by weighted Kappa statistics of agreement for each item. Included in this analysis were 513 students from three colleges: Medicine (39%), Applied Medical Sciences (31%), and Nursing (30%). Results: The reproducibility of the 24 items was poor. Kappa statistics of agreement ranged between 0.15 and 0.32. The intra-class correlation coefficient for the total, start, during, and end of the course were 0.66, 0.57, 0.61 and 0.60 respectively. Bland Altman plot failed to show a good test-retest agreement for the NCAAA-CEQ total score within 95% limits of agreement (-24.8 to 24.6). In all parameters of the questionnaire, it was found that reliability deteriorated with lower English grade and GPA. Conclusion: The results of this initial study remain to be confirmed. However, they failed to support the reliability of the NCAAA-CEQ as one of the tools to evaluate the quality of courses. A probable explanation of the low reliability was language barrier. It is suggested that, a simplified CEQ, or, a properly translated Arabic version or both may improve the reliability of this questionnaire, especially for repeated, cyclical and mandatory evaluations of the quality of courses as required by NCAAA.

Medical education centres in Saudi Arabia

Rania G. Zaini

Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

The study of Saudi stakeholders'' views and expectations of medical education and its future prospective emphasized the importance and effectiveness of establishing and energizing medical education Centre in Saudi medical schools (Zaini, 2007). Medical education Centres/ departments are believed to play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of medical programme and subsequently future doctors. A statement of the purpose of the study: This study aims to investigate the status of medical education centres in Saudi medical schools and develop a systematic plan to develop its potentials A statement of the methods and materials used: The study consists of two parts: the first is basic survey of medical education Centre in medical schools; and the second part is semi-structure interviews of Saudi medical educators and international experts about the strategic plan to build efficient medical education Centre. A summary of the results: The first phase of the study shows that most of the 22 medical schools have a well-organized medical education Centre. However, the divergences between these centres were obvious regarding centre's aim, role, efficiency and outcomes. Interviews of the second phase will be carried by this summer. A statement of the conclusions: Medical education Centre/Department in newly established medical schools have a strong control on curriculum, since central management of the curriculum is the main task of this Centre. Establishing a new department of medical education in old school is promising, yet a long time is required to strengthen its role in the school.

Strategies to promote research in medical education in GCC

Khalid A. Bin Abdulrahman

Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Mohd Bin Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Medical education in GCC has witnessed, in the last decade, dramatic changes in term of expansion of medical schools and the movement towards innovative approaches in undergraduate medical education. However, research in medical education still lagging in both quantity and quality. Awareness of the values of this kind of research, lack of support, lack of networking and inadequate appreciation in academic promotion are the main challenges. This paper aiming at addressing some strategies to promote research in Medical Education in GCC:

  • Formulating an interesting research group in medical education
  • Creating ME data-base at GCC level
  • Identify the ME research priorities
  • Creating WWW site for the research group
  • Strengthen the relationship with all research grant agencies
  • Strengthen networking with international ME research centers or institutions
  • Supporting GCC joint research proposals
  • GCC universities should be considering all ME publication in faculty promotion policies
  • Creation of GCC ME research Prize
  • Including ME research day in CME or faculty development program
  • Issuing ME journal in GCC ( under SSME)
The main goals of these strategies are to support research in ME in GCC and to promote high quality publication in ME

Professionalism: The need of the hour

Adkoli Balachandra V., Abdullah M. Al-Rubaish, Khalid Umran Al-Umran, Mona Al-Sheikh, Kishore K Deepak

Medical Education Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Professionalism has emerged as a core competency for health care professionals. Its teaching and assessment are great challenge for the educators to find new pathways of learning. We present a conceptual model of how to inculcate professional qualities such as altruism, respect for others, humanistic qualities, ethical standards, accountability, excellence and commitment to service. We emphasize the role of setting expectations, role modeling of the behavior, the influence of "hidden curriculum", and providing a congenial environment for fostering professionalism. We also deal with various modalities of assessing professionalism. We conclude that a ''holistic approach'' characterized by multiple assessors, over a period of time, in a realistic context is needed for the assessment of professionalism.

Students' perceptions towards different ancillary materials used in anatomy practical sessions at the college of medicine, KFU, Dammam

A.M. Al-Rubaish, M.A. Al-Motabagani, M.F. AbuHijleh, M.H.Al-Sheikh

College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Aim : This study was undertaken to seek the students' perceptions towards various learning modalities and ancillary materials used in the dissecting room during practical sessions. These included dissection of intact specimens, studying of prosected and plastinated specimens, dry bones, X-rays, and Anatomy Museum Specimens. Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted in the Department of Anatomy, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. In this setting, traditional, lecture-based, didactic type of curriculum was applied. All 2 nd year male and female undergraduate medical students who registered for the Anatomy Course (MDAT 202) during the Academic Year 2007 participated in the this study. A questionnaire form was constructed and designed to seek the students' perceptions towards the materials that are used in our anatomy laboratory to teach various aspects of the anatomy course. In the descriptive statistics, the frequency of the replies (responses) and Mean percentage was determined for each part of the questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS program. For the male students, the overall response rate was 78%. For the female students, full response rate of 100% was achieved. Results: The ranking order of preferred methods that help students to learn the structural and functional anatomy of the limbs was as follows: dissection of intact limbs by themselves (M: 96%; F: 95%), followed by dissection of intact limbs by the instructors (M: 95%; F: 92%), then demonstration on already dissected limb by the instructors (M: 84%; F: 80%), followed by study of already prosected specimens (M: 80%; F: 79%), and study of plastinated specimens (M: 79%; F: 68%). Most students also considered the study of individual dry bones (M: 96%; F: 92%), X-rays of a limb (M: 83%; F: 88%), and the surface anatomy of a limb (M: 79%; F: 84%) to be helpful as a learning method. On the question of learning attachments, actions and innervations of muscles most students (M: 35%; F: 42 %:) considered that these are best learnt by dissecting intact specimens by themselves. Regarding the learning of the structure and function of a joint many students (M: 39%; F: 31%) considered prosected specimens as their best modality of learning. Regarding dry bones and X-rays, the vast majority of students (M: 97%; F: 95%) believed that the study of dry bones help them to interpret features of these bones in X-rays, and that they cannot learn all about bones in X-rays without studying dry bones. Regarding identify the surface markings of a limb structure in a living subject, many students (M: 61%; F: 48%) preferred examination of palpable landmarks. Recommendation: Because educational process should ideally be student-centered, a variety of teaching and learning tools should be made available in the anatomy laboratory whenever possible. The approach should be designed to include intact cadavers, prosected and plastinated specimens, dry bones, X-rays, living anatomy, etc. Students appreciate this diversity because they all learn differently.

Learning styles of medical students in a problem based curriculum at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain

Haifa Al-Qussair, Salah ElDin Kassab

Arabian Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain

Problem based learning (PBL) could possibly change the learning styles of students to a student-centered type. The purpose of this study is to examine the learning style profiles of medical students in a PBL medical school and to study the relation between their learning style and academic performance. The study sample was conducted on 252 students at the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), Arabian Gulf University (AGU). A cross sectional design using Honey and Mumford Learning Style Questionnaire (LSQ) was used to collect data from 110 students in year 1, 76 students in year 4 and 66 students year 6. Most of the students (82.5%) had a strong preference for one style, while the rest (17.5%) had a preference for more than one style. Of that 82.5%, 48.8% of students prefer reflector-learning style, 17.9% prefer theorist-learning style, 9.1% prefer activist learning style, and 6.7% prefer pragmatist-learning style. There were no significant differences in the learning styles between 1 st to 6 th year students. However, female students were more likely to be teacher-centered compared with males. There was no significant relation between learning style and the overall academic performance or its components in the three classes under study. We conclude that the majority of the medical students at Arabian Gulf University are "Reflectors". Furthermore, involving students in a problem-based curriculum is unlikely to change their learning style and these styles are not correlated with students' performance in examinations.

Medical Laboratory technology: Curriculum changes in Saudi Arabia

Abdulrahman M. Alqurashi

College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Introduction : Medical Laboratory technology faculty must carefully plan curricula and degree requirements to ensure that their graduates will be competent theoretically and technically to meet the demands of the vastly growing technical diagnostic laboratories to ensure proper patient diagnosis and care. It has been over a decade since the establishment of the MLT program at KFU. During this time, some changes in the curriculum have occurred aiming to improve the education of MLT students. Educators of Allied Health Professionals are being asked to design programs that produce individuals with skills in more than one area of health care, at the same time a curriculum grounded in the scientific disciplines must be maintained with the abilities to meet the challenges of all times. Objectives: A short survey was conducted and the main objective was to gather information to assess the attitudes of MLT students and graduates towards their curriculum of study. Materials and Methods: An 18-item questionnaire was designed for this purpose. Seventy questionnaires were distributed to Level 4 MLT students and the newly graduated batch of interns. Sixty-one questionnaires were returned. Conclusion: Although this was a short study and the number of respondents were only 61. It provided us with a positive feedback about the program and that strives for curriculum change and reform have met with students' satisfaction concerning the new program. Further studies should be conducted to include a larger number of students, in order to continue further our efforts to improve the curriculum and program.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010