Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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The preparedness of medical students from the Middle East for the modern curriculum: a cross-sectional study
Fiza Rashid-Doubell, Tim Doubell, Robin O'Sullivan, Khalifa Elmusharaf

Last modified: 10-06-2015



The study aims to examine whether there were differences in self-directed learning readiness (SDLR) between students who entered medicine with a local Bahraini schools certificate and those who entered with an international schools certificate.


We analysed how self-managment, desire for learning, self-control and total SDLR scores varied in relation to the student's previous exit award: 'A' levels (or equivalent) or Bahrain Secondary School (BSS) certificate. BSS certificate students had a significantly lower mean standardised desire for learning score (63.5) compared to those with 'A' levels and equivalent (73.6; p=0.003). BSS certificate students also had a significantly lower mean total self-directed learning readiness score (192.3) compared to those with 'A' levels and equivalent (214.5; p=0.015). When we controlled for all other factors, secondary school award certificate was the only independent predictor of self-control (standardised beta 0.4; p=0.02) and SDLR (standardised beta 0.36; p=0.043)


Self-directed learning is a key skill in the modern curriculum. Students who exit with a local Middle Eastern secondary school certificate are finding it difficult for prepare themselves for independent learning in medical school. This poses a challenge for institutions bringing a more active-learning type of curriculum to the Middle East.


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