Understanding the Estranged Attitude of Medical Students while Attending Lectures at a Medical College in Eastern India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Partha Mandal,
Circus Maidan, Nutanchati, Bankura-722101, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Absenteeism among medical undergraduate students during lecture classes is a worldwide problem in medical education. Their disengaged attitude towards attending lectures is associated with poor grades in examinations and contributes to poor professional socialisation.
Aim: To identify the different factors responsible for absenteeism among medical undergraduate students during lecture classes and gather feedback that may help improve the content and delivery of these classes.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted at the Department of Biochemistry, Bankura Sammilani Medical College, West Bengal, India. The study duration was six months, from October 2022 to March 2023. A total of 199 undergraduate medical students from phase-I voluntarily participated in the study out of a total of 200 students. A prevalidated questionnaire using the Likert scale was used as the study tool to determine the students’ perspectives on poor attendance. Additionally, a focused group discussion was held to obtain the students’ opinions on improving the presentation of lectures. The responses were recorded, and the Tastle and Wierman tests were conducted to derive a consensus opinion.
Results: Among the participants, 169 (84.9%) strongly agreed and 125 (62.8%) agreed that access to multiple websites and a preference for self-study were factors leading to skipping lectures, respectively. There was a strong agreement, with a consensus score of 0.52, that factors such as the inability of the mental capacity to match the chosen course, poor content, and monotonous presentation were important contributors to absenteeism. A significant correlation was observed between internal assessment scores and lecture attendance (p-value <0.01, r-value=0.4). Approximately 44% of participants believed that a chalk and talk approach followed by small group discussions was the best teaching method.
Conclusion: This cross-sectional survey identified multiple factors, such as access to various e-learning platforms, a preference for self/group study, and technical difficulties, as reasons for poor attendance in lecture classes. However, improvements in content, mode of presentation, and clinical relevance of topics may enhance students’ attitudes towards attending regular lectures and improve their performance.