Introducing Family Medicine Clerkship to Medical Students' Curriculum at a Saudi Medical University: An Impact Study

J Prim Care Community Health. Jan-Dec 2021;12:21501327211002100. doi: 10.1177/21501327211002100.


Background: Family Medicine was introduced as a major undergraduate clinical rotation in 2016 after the medical college at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University revised its curriculum.

Objective: Assessing how students' medical knowledge has improved post Family Medicine introduction to the revised medical school curriculum.

Study design: This was a cross-sectional epidemiological study among fifth year clinical medical students (n = 219). A pretest and post-test was distributed to all fifth year clinical medical students voluntarily during the period of October 2017 to May 2018. They were asked to rate the exam as well.

Results: The mean exam grades were 25.52 (SD = 4.44) and 34.16 (SD = 5.76) for pre-rotation and post-rotation, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between post and pre rotation exam grade for the overall sample (t (218) = 23.73, P < .0001) indicating that students had a statistically significantly higher exam grades post-rotation (M = 34.16, SD = 5.76) than pre-rotation (M = 25.52, SD = 4.44). Females had a statistically significantly larger difference in post-rotation and pre-rotation exam grade than males indicating that they improved more in the post rotation exam. It was found that nearly 60% (59.36%) of subjects considered the exam difficult before the rotation; however, only around 40% (40.18%) considered the exam difficult after the rotation.

Conclusion: Students benefited after taking the course of family medicine. This helps in advocating for both the importance of this specialty and for the university's decision in incorporating family medicine as a major clinical rotation for undergraduates.

Keywords: curriculum; family medicine; medical education; medical students.