MOTIVATION OF MEDICAL STUDENTS TO STUDY PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES – SURVEY RESULTS
Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Medicine (SLOVAKIA)
Medicine study and practice expect high demands on analytical and synthetical thinking skills of students and health professionals.
These skills should be developed during university study of sciences. Sciences (medical biophysics, medical chemistry, medical biology) are taught at the beginning of medical study. Attitudes of medical students towards the study of sciences as an inevitable part of medical curriculum are often negative. Therefore it is necessary to find motivation approaches and strategies in teaching process and try to change these negative attitudes in a positive way by improving approach of medical students.
Our research project “Motivating factors of medical students for better understanding the fundamental science knowledge in relation to medical diagnostic and therapeutic methods” is focused on the identification and subsequently creation of motivating teaching of the sciences.
We present the results of the pedagogical investigation using anonymous questionnaire focused on current attitudes and level of students motivation concerning sciences (medical biophysics, medical chemistry, biology and human genetics). The investigation was done at the end of the first semester of medical study acad. year 2016/2017 (131 respondents – 1st year students of Comenius University Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava) Respondents rated their attitudes on the scale from 0 (negative) to 10 (positive).
The analysis of our survey data showed motivation of respondents to study medicine. We made the following observation:
1. The main motivating factors were: aspiration to be a doctor (17,2%), help people (17,1%), interest in the medicine (16,9%), scientific research (14,7%).
2. Attitudes of respondents to the sciences after graduation at general secondary schools (physics, chemistry, biology) were negative and/or slightly negative – 45%, 6,3%, 0%; neutral – 28,5%, 20,5%, 16%; slightly positive – 17,6%, 59,8%, 67,2%, positive – 3,8%, 13,4%, 16,8%, respectively).
3. The lowest level of motivation to study medical biophysics and the higher motivation to study medical chemistry and medical biology were found at the end of 1st semester of medical study (negative or slightly negative – 22,2%, 6,0%, 0%; neutral – 51,9%, 39%, 30,5%; slightly positive – 22,1%, 47%, 55,0%, positive – 3,8%, 10,1%, 10,7%, respectively).
What main motivating and demotivating factors in the teaching and learning of the sciences have been formulated by respondents?
1. Motivating factors: positive approach and professionalism of teachers (28,4%) and better continuity with medical practice (13,2%).
2. Demotivating factors: high demands on time and lack of continuity to the medical practice and content demands (31,5%).
Teaching and learning of the sciences at medical faculties should support the improvement of educational level. It is required to optimize teaching techniques, methods and thus to improve educational quality and international competitiveness of graduates. The fulfilment of this goal requires to increase motivation, communication of university teachers in sciences with both clinicians and medical students and to provide further training of university teachers in the higher pedagogical education.
Contribution was supported by GP KEGA Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic № 003UK–4/2016 and 026UK-4/2017.