Saudi Medical Students’ Interest in Basic Medical Sciences and the Factors Affecting It

  •  Suha Althubaiti    
  •  Norah Althubaiti    


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate medical students’ interest in basic sciences and identify perceived obstacles for choosing a career in basic science.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted and carried out between March and May 2016 with 600 undergraduate medical students at the College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Students’ interest towards basic medical sciences was evaluated using a questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 352 medical students (180 male and 172 female) responded. The leading reasons for not pursuing a career in basic sciences were that medical students aimed primarily to become clinicians (71.6%), would prefer to engage in clinical research (40.4%), were concerned about salaries in basic sciences (36.6%), and had not experienced exciting practical training in basic sciences (26.2%).

CONCLUSION: Integrating basic sciences and clinical medicine and increasing research participation will result in more positive attitudes towards basic sciences. Furthermore, reducing the students’ concerns will encourage medical students to engage more with basic medical science.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.