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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126

Student Evaluation of an Integrated, Spiral Model of Epidemiology Education at the Ege University

Ege University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Z A Ocek
Ege University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, 35100 Bornova, Izmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19039744

Objectives: The Ege University Faculty of Medicine (EUMF) introduced a community-oriented undergraduate curriculum in 2001. In developing the epidemiology portion of the new curriculum, learning objectives were written for their relevance to different learner stages within the general curriculum and to Turkey's public health problems. Key learning objectives were that students should be able to comprehend the moral values of scientific research, principles of study design and evidence appraisal, and the role of epidemiology in clinical practice. The curriculum included didactic lectures and group activities. The aim of the present study was to explore third-year students' perceptions of the epidemiology curriculum. Methods: The program was evaluated at the end of our students' third year through written evaluations using quantitative and qualitative methods. Two hundred fifty-five students (92.7%) of all third-year medical students participated in the evaluation. Quantitative methods were based on student ratings, whereas qualitative method assessments involved content analysis of the students' open-ended statements. Findings: Based on responses to fixed response items, more than seven out of every 10 students appreciated the value of epidemiology to the work of physicians. More than six out of 10 students evaluated the curriculum favorably, but only a third indicated that they became more interested in epidemiology with time, and one-quarter found epidemiology challenging. In students' open-ended responses, the most frequent positive statements referred to students' heightened interest in research and appreciation of the curriculum's interactive teaching. Some students criticized the content as difficult and felt that there were too many didactic lectures. Conclusion: Based on their evaluations, students found our new epidemiology curriculum acceptable, and regarded it as relevant and valuable to their future practice.

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