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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 192-203

Educational Environment in Traditional and Innovative Medical Schools: A Study in Four Undergraduate Medical Schools

1 Medical School, King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia
2 Medical School, Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia
3 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sana’a, Yemen
4 Centre for Medical Education, Dundee University Medical School, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Awdah Al-Hazimi
Physiology Department, College of Medicine, King Abdul Aziz University, P.O. Box 80205 Jeddah, 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Introduction: The undergraduate curricula of medical schools in King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia and Sana'a University, Republic of Yemen are traditional, like most of the medical schools in the Middle East region. The curriculum in Dundee University Medical School, UK, claims to follow the prescriptions of the UK General Medical Council to be outcome based with three interlocking phases and students encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. The aim of this study is to measure the educational environment, using the 50-item Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM), in each medical school and to compare the educational environment as perceived by the responding students of the traditional medical schools in developing countries with that of the ''modernised'' medical school in Dundee University, UK. Methods: The DREEM was administered to 1072 medical students in the four different universities. Using SPSS, data were expressed as means of scores. Comparisons between schools, years of study and gender were made using non-parametric tests. Results: For all three traditional medical schools, the mean scores of the inventory were lower compared with Dundee Medical School. Students from traditional schools rated their learning and teaching environment significantly lower than their counterparts in Dundee Medical School. Similarly, they rated their academic self-perceptions, social-self perceptions and their atmosphere more poorly than the Dundee students. Conclusion: The DREEM provides useful diagnostic information about medical schools, whether it is in developing or western developed countries.

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