Perception of students about community medicine course in Hawler College of Medicine, Iraq
Keywords:Community Medicine, Hawler College of Medicine, student perception, Erbil
Background and objective: Community medicine is an important discipline for medical students who are going to be future doctors and deal with different health problems. Community Medicine is taught in 3rd, 4th and 6th year of study at Hawler College of Medicine. The aim of the study was to explore students' perception about this subject because it plays an important role in determining educational outcome.
Methods: This study was carried out in Hawler College of Medicine, Erbil city, Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the academic year 2013-2014. It was based on a self-administered questionnaire survey of 4th year students. The questionnaire consisted of closed and open ended questions related to the attitude of students toward community medicine course, views on the positive and negative aspects and recommendations to improve the course. The quantitative data were analysed through using the statistical package for the social sciences (version 19), while qualitative data analysis comprised thematic analysis of open-ended questions using common coding techniques.
Results: The result of this study suggested that high percentage of the students had positive attitude toward the course. Sixty-six respondents (55.4%) mentioned that there are positive aspects in the course like research project (33.3.1%), having respectful and friendly teachers (31.8%) and participation of students in discussions in the classroom. Sixty-six respondents (55.4%) mentioned that there are negative aspects in the course like short duration of the course (27.2%) and some topics were repeated from other years. Fifty-seven respondents (47.8 %) have recommended a number of priorities for improving the quality of the course like: increasing practical sessions with more student participation (36.8%); decreasing theoretical lectures (22.8%) and the time for the research should be isolated without lectures (19.2%).
Conclusion: Community medicine course is well perceived by the students with some negative aspects. Some recommendations have been made for improving the quality of the course.
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