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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 170-174

Approach for an undergraduate surgery course teaching and assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mona M Soliman
Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_23_21

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sudden shift to online education worldwide. Online education is a challenging experience in medical education. This study describes the approach toward teaching and assessment upon the sudden shift to online education in the undergraduate surgery course due to lockdown and the perception of students. It also describes the preparation for the succeeding new academic year. Methods: In May 2020, after the complete lockdown, online small group interactive tutorial sessions were conducted for the 3rd-year surgery course that included case-based discussion and demonstration of certain clinical skills. The final assessment of the course was delayed to August 2020. Forty-five faculties participated in the exam. Each had 7–6 students to examine a total of 315 students. Seven different sets for the examination were used. Seven closed-ended questionnaires were distributed to the students' online using Google surveys after the final exam students. The questionnaire assessed the students' satisfaction of the urgent arrangement in the course and exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic situations. Likert scale was used to receive students' feedback on 5-point scale. Results: All sessions recorded a participation of 71–92 students. A total of 12 lectures covering four topics and three online surgical clinical topics were conducted using zoom. A total of 288 students of 315 attended the final written exam and 287 attended the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). A total of 144 students of 293 (49%) responded to the 7 questionnaires that were distributed. Regarding the students' agreement on their benefit from the online tutorials. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents agreed that the tutorials improved their clinical sense and developed interest in surgical skills, while 41% of the students disagreed. The majority of the students agreed on the relevance of the topics discussed in the online tutorials. The majority of students agreed that the online tutorials helped to improve their understanding and knowledge of the topic. In response to whether the online tutorials helped to improve understanding and knowledge of the surgical topics, the majority of the students agreed. Conclusion: Online medical education for undergraduate surgery courses for 3rd-year medical students is a novel and effective method for managing the urgent situation. Students were overall satisfied with the approach and reported that it helped them to achieve the designed learning objectives.


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