Teaching and evaluation methods of medical ethics in the Saudi public medical colleges: cross-sectional questionnaire study
1 Medical College, Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University, PO Box 59046, 11525 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, PO Box 59046, 11525 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 King Fahad Medical City, PO Box 59046, 11525 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O. Box: 2925, Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia
5 Medical College, Majmaa University, Riyadh, P.O. Box: 91678, Riyadh 11643, Saudi Arabia
6 College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
7 Pediatric Division, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, P.O. Box: 245, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:122 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-122Published: 10 September 2013
Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most influential Muslim countries being as the host of the two most holy places for Muslims, namely Makkah and Madina. This was reflected in the emphasis on teaching medical ethics in a lecture-based format as a part of the subject of Islamic culture taught to medical students. Over the last few years, both teaching and evaluation of medical ethics have been changing as more Saudi academics received specialized training and qualifications in bioethics from western universities.
This study aims at studying the current teaching methods and evaluation tools used by the Saudi public medical schools. It is done using a self-administered online questionnaire.
Out of the 14 medical schools that responded, the majority of the responding schools (6; 42.8%), had no ethics departments; but all schools had a curriculum dedicated to medical ethics. These curricula were mostly developed by the faculty staff (12; 85.7%). The most popular teaching method was lecturing (13; 92.8%). The most popular form of student assessment was a paper-based final examination (6; 42.8%) at the end of the course that was allocated 40% or more of the total grade of the ethics course. Six schools (42.8%) allocated 15-30% of the total grade to research.
Although there is a growing interest and commitment in teaching ethics to medical students in Saudi schools; there is lack of standardization in teaching and evaluation methods. There is a need for a national body to provide guidance for the medical schools to harmonize the teaching methods, particularly introducing more interactive and students-engaging methods on the account of passive lecturing.