Approaches Towards Professional Studies and Spare-time Activities Among Preclinical and Clinical Year Medical Students
Tahir Jameel, Mukhtiar Baig, Zohair J Gazzaz, Jawad M Tashkandi, Nasser S Al Alhareth, Shahida A Khan, Nadeem S Butt
Objective This study aims at a recognition of the differences in the study habits, approach to teaching resources, and spare-time activities of medical students in the preclinical and clinical training periods at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (SA). Methods Study sampling was carried out in 2017 at the Faculty of Medicine, KAU, Jeddah, SA. Students from both genders were included and further subdivided to preclinical (2(nd) and 3(rd) years) and clinical groups (4(th), 5(th), and 6(th) years). Students were asked to respond to an online questionnaire. SPSS-Version 21 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, US) was utilized for statistical analysis of the collected data, Results Of the 347/500 (response rate 69.4%) medical students, 85 (24.5%) were from the preclinical students (2(nd) and 3(rd) years), and 262 (64.5%) were enrolled in the clinical group (4(th) to 6(th) years of MBBS). The majority of students 330 (94.1%) were unmarried, only 17 of them, i.e., 4.9%, were married. Analysis of the data revealed that medical textbooks, essential versions of basic medical books, online resources, and online version of books were used more frequently by the clinical group as compared to the preclinical students. Teacher-provided lecture handouts and lecture notes taken during classes were being equally used by both groups. There was a significant difference in the opinion on the usefulness of different resources between both groups. Students faced difficulty in understanding the English language, observed more in the pre-clinical years as compared to relatively groomed clinical students. The preclinical group could not understand the teaching material in books due to a weaker understanding of the English language. Social media software was used for keeping both groups busy, but clinical students also used social media for academic purposes. More than half of the participants from the preclinical and almost one-third from the clinical years admitted that their teachers recommended them for relevant medical textbooks. An encouraging trend was observed in most preclinical group students: they found teaching modalities, such as problem-based learning (PBL) and other academic activities, as a trigger to promote book reading. Conclusion Our results show that the students in the clinical phase had a more methodical approach to professional studies and a difference in spare-time activities.