Background: Information and promoting awareness of emergency medicine (EM) as a vital and independent branch of medicine has been a core component of the national undergraduate medical curriculum for a number of years. This project aims to assess how successful this integration has been by evaluating clinical-level students on their knowledge, exposure, and overall opinion of the subject.
Methods: A survey was conducted by means of a cross-sectional online questionnaire that was made available to clinical year students in all medical colleges in Saudi Arabia. Demographic data, descriptive statistics, and correlation analyses were then carried out to discern if any patterns or commonalities could be found.
Result: A total of 356 medical students participated in the study. Regarding EM perception and interest, a significant variance in responses was highlighted between the 4th, 5th, and 6th-year students. Regarding exposure, 68.8% did not have the EM as an independent course module, and 55.1% did not take an elective in EM as an alternative. The overall level of knowledge of EM and its importance was below the desired standards in 62.4% of the participants. Students who undertook some form of further education in EM had on average a 57.7% higher chance to score at or above desired standards on EM.
Conclusion: Despite the overall majority of participants demonstrating a less than desirable knowledge on EM, exposure, and correct integration of EM in medical course composition has a notable positive effect on student perceptions and opinion of EM.
Emergency medicine, student perceptions, curriculum development.
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