Community medicine learning - medical student’s perspective

Angeline Grace G., Gopalakrishnan S., Umadevi R.


Background: The goal of teaching Community Medicine in undergraduate medical curriculum is to ensure that medical graduates acquire competencies needed to solve common health problems of the community. This study aims to determine the perceptions of medical students in learning Community Medicine as part of their MBBS curriculum and to assess their preference of the subject for post-graduate studies.

Methods: This study was conducted among third year MBBS students of a private Medical College. Universal sampling method was adopted and data was collected using a pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire. A three-point Likert scale was used to assess the perceptions of the medical students in learning Community Medicine. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 16.0.

Results: Out of 183 students, 166 students participated in the study of which 42.8% were males and 57.2% were females. Nearly 89% of students agreed that learning community medicine during MBBS is very essential. About 83.7% felt more field visits or practical assignments need to be added to the curriculum to enhance students’ interest in the subject. Community medicine was preferred for post-graduation by only 12% of students. Interest in clinical specialties, limited career growth and less social recognition was the main reasons quoted by the students for not choosing the specialty for post-graduation.

Conclusions: Learning Community Medicine is essential to produce community oriented primary health care physicians. Community Medicine as a future career option was found to be limited among the medical students. More exposure is needed on the wide career opportunities available after post-graduation. Community Medicine learning should be made more interesting, highlighting its importance in public health, primary health care & family medicine services.


Preventive medicine, Medical education, Career

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