Students’s perception of Parasitology across integration of basic medical curriculum; impact on student’s retention of knowledge and satisfaction

Ismail, M. A. M., H. S. Eldin, A. S. A. E. Antably, M.A.Hassan, and E.M.Rizk, "Students’s perception of Parasitology across integration of basic medical curriculum; impact on student’s retention of knowledge and satisfaction", The Vth Conference of the Egyptian Parasitologists United Society, Ain Shams university, 24-25 March, 2018.

Date Presented:

24-25 March


Background: Parasitic diseases cause enormous mortality and morbidity worldwide Accordingly, Parasitology teaching should be modified in such a way that genuine information is complemented with clinical insight. Medical students have to make competent clinical decisions based on adequate scientific principles; consequently, they must be able to retain knowledge from the preclinical academic phase of their medical course. Integration of basic medical sciences in early years of medical education into clinical practice of later years is such an area under adequate study. Integrated approach to education may have important benefits for learning, retention and elaboration of well-organized knowledge that underlie effective clinical reasoning.
Aim: This paper aimed at outlining the development and implementation of a form of vertical integration between Parasitology curriculum as a part of undergraduate basic sciences together with clinical science practices performed on third year students in kasr Alainy School of Medicine, Cairo University in Egypt. Assessing how the students perceive and value this learning modality was also carried out.
Methods: A sample of 200 medical students from the third academic year (2017-2018) of Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University participated in this study. They were subjected to an integrated learning program which was launched by Medical Parasitology Department in co-operation with different Clinical Departments in Faculty of medicine Cairo University. To assess the results of this program, a questionnaire was introduced to appraise how this course helped the students to understand and correlate between academic and clinical data they were studying throughout the year. In addition, their final exam results were also evaluated and compared with other students of the same academic year not attending this integrated program.
Results: Students were defined in 2 groups; group A included students of main stream not attending the integrated program (n:664) and group B included those students receiving this program (n:200). As for final exam results, 93.2% of group A had passed the exam versus 95.5% of group B.
Concerning rating, it was found that group A students showed results of 49.1%, 29.1%, 15.1% and 1.4% for excellent, very good, good and fair ratings respectively while group B revealed 58.5%, 22.55%, 14.4% and 0.5% respectively for the same ratings. Questionnaire results revealed a high response by the students to the integrated program as a preferable teaching tool.

This study proposed that perceived clinical relevance is a contributing factor to the retention of basic
parasitology knowledge. This could motivate curriculum planners to work on innovation through integration of academic information with clinical components for applied teaching throughout the medical course in Parasitology education. Further studies with increasing the number of participants and may be extending the study to cover more years could help improving results and could also give the chance to check for differences in ability for short and long-term retention of Parasitology knowledge amongst participants and non-participants.

Key words: Parasitology, Basic sciences, integration, student, learning medical education, clinical relevance.