Medical Students of the Kabul Medical Institute

Khushal Stanisai MD, FACG

Background:

A combined team of Afghan Medical Association (AMAA) and Loma Linda University (LLU) traveled to Afghanistan on April 11 – 17, 2002

The AMAA conducted a study to find useful information with regards to KMI medical students.

Questions were asked in writing and student responses were collected.

Aim:

The aim of this study was to question the students about the quality of their medical education, availability of teaching materials and their knowledge of English.

284 student of KMI grade 3 and 4 participated in the study.

 

Results:

Answer 1:

  1. I am able to speak and understand English, Pashto and Dari
  2. I am able to speak and understand Pashto and Dari but not English
  3. I am able to speak and understand Pashto but not English or Dari
  4. I am able to speak and understand Dari but not English or Pashto
  5. I am able to speak and understand Dari and English but not Pashto
  6. I am able to speak and understand Pashto and English but not Dari

Answer 2:

  1. I believe enough books and periodicals are written in Dari or Pashto and there is enough manpower to translate current medical literature into Pashto or Dari?
  2. I do not believe we have adequate available literature in Dari or Pashto and there is not enough manpower to translate current medical literature into Pashto or Dari?

Answer 3:

  1. My English knowledge is adequate and I am able to follow lectures in English and understand when I read books in English.
  2. My knowledge of English is limited and I am in need of help to learn more English.
  3. I do not understand English but I am willing to learn English even if it causes a delay in my graduation from Medical School.

Answer 4:

  1. I have some background training in computers and I am capable of using computers and the Internet to search for and acquire medical knowledge.
  2. I have no background training in computers but I am willing to learn how to search for and acquire medical knowledge via computers and the Internet.
  3. I have no background training in computers and I am not willing to learn how to search for and acquire medical knowledge via computers and the Internet.

Answer 5:

  1. I am willing to apply for a position with the teaching faculty after graduation.
  2. I am not interested in being one of the teaching staff and prefer to practice outside of Medical School.

Answer 6:

  1. We have enough teaching staff in our university and there is no need for teaching faculty abroad to come and teach.
  2. We don�t have enough teaching staff in our university and there is a need for teaching faculty abroad to come and teach.

Answer 7:

  1. The current number of medical schools and medical students far exceed the number needed for Afghanistan, however, there is no need to take any action to change the current status.
  2. The current number of medical schools and medical students far exceed the number needed for Afghanistan. There is a need for drastic action to decrease the number of medical schools and students. Some students who fail the examinations could become allied health professionals.
  3. The current number of medical schools and medical students is just right to meet the needs of Afghanistan
  4. The current number of medical schools and medical students are far less then the number needed for Afghanistan and therefore, there is a need for more medical schools and medical students.

Answer 8:

  1. The current level of acquiring a medical education is below the standard and there is a need for improvement.
  2. The current level of acquiring a medical education is adequate and there is no need for improvement at this time.

Conclusion:

1. The students of KMI are able to speak and understand English, Pashto and Dari (58%).

2. They do not believe that they have adequate available literature in Dari or Pashto and nor there is enough manpower to translate current medical literature into Pashto or Dari (80%).

3. However the knowledge of English is limited (58%) and they are in need of help to learn more English even if it causes a delay in their graduation.

4. Some have background training in computers (15%) but the majority had no training in computers. They are willing to learn how to search for and acquire medical knowledge via the internet and computers.

5. Majority are willing to apply for a position with the teaching faculty after graduation (70%).

6. They don�t have enough teaching staff in KMI and there is a need for teaching faculty abroad to come and teach (97%).

7. The Majority of students think that the current number of medical schools and medical students far exceed the number needed for Afghanistan. There is a need for drastic action to decrease the number of medical schools and students. Some students who fail the examinations could become allied health professionals (60%).

8. All the students think that the current level of acquiring a medical education is below the standard and there is need for improvement (100%).

Recommendation:

Fortunately the majority opinion of the students favor a change for the better. They want to see a drastic reduction in the number of medical schools and students. They are willing to learn English and accept English for teaching. The Ministry of Higher education and administration of KMI should take steps to improve the current status by heeding the recommendation of the students demand for change.

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