Medical students' knowledge and attitudes toward history of medicine

J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2020 Aug 25;13:6. doi: 10.18502/jmehm.v13i6.4071. eCollection 2020.


Attention to the history of medicine (HM) has been increasing enormously among the scientific community. History of Culture and Civilization of Iran and Islam (HCCII) is taught in medical schools as a required course. However, data on medical students' level of knowledge and attitude about HM is limited. This is a cross-sectional survey conducted between 2016 and 2017. A multi-stage random cluster sampling was done in which 230 medical students were asked to fill a standardized self-administered questionnaire. Univariate statistical tests and ordinary multivariable linear regression were applied. Medical students' knowledge level was 50.8%, which is considered fair and weak. Interestingly, the knowledge score of those who attended only in HCCII course did not differ significantly from those who did not attend this course (P = 0.163). The results showed that knowledge scores were considerably greater in those who participated in related volunteer workshops than those who did not (P = 0.0001). The mean score of attitude toward HM was significantly higher in female subjects than male subjects (P = 0.028). Moreover, data indicated that attendance at the HCCII course and workshops was not associated with improvement in attitude. According to the outcomes, the authors recommend revising the content, teaching method and structure of the HCCII course curriculum.

Keywords: History of medicine; Iran.; Medical education; Medical students.