Medical students’ perceptions of educational environment in remote and urban area medical colleges

Mohammad Shahzad Anwar, Idrees Anwar, Tariq Ghafoor


Background: The quality of educational environment has been identified as crucial for effective learning. Learning environment may vary from one institute to another.

Aim: This study was designed to compare the educational environments of two medical colleges, namely: Shaikh Zayed Medical College, located in a remote area of Punjab and Services Institute of Medical Sciences, established in a metropolitan city.

Methods: It was a cross sectional descriptive study conducted in February 2014, using DREEM questionnaire. All students from the final year MBBS class of the two medical colleges (n=220) were included in the study.  

Results: An overall DREEM score was 90.4 in the remote area college, as compared with 113 in the metropolitan city college. Four out of the five subscales of DREEM showed a significant difference between the two medical colleges and female students perceived the environment more negatively at the remote area.

Conclusion: The study highlighted major gaps in the educational environment of the two medical colleges. Negative perceptions of students from remote area college emphasize the need for careful planning before the opening of medical colleges in such areas. The Pakistan medical and Dental Council should develop standards of undergraduate medical education and implement them strictly in all medical institutes.  

Key words: Academic perception, educational environment, DREEM (Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure), Pakistan  

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