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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 May 15;34(2):Doc24. doi: 10.3205/zma001101. eCollection 2017.

A multi-centre student survey on weighing disciplines in medical curricula - a pilot study.

Author information

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Dr. von Hauner's Childrens' Hospital, München, Germany.
University of Cologne, Vice-Rector of Studies, Cologne, Germany.
University of Cologne, Centre of Pharmacology, Cologne, Germany.


in English, German

Aim: Initiated by students, this pilot study examines how obtaining medical students' perspectives via a structured online survey may prove useful for curriculum deliberation. Methods: In 2012, 747 students of 32 medical faculties in Germany assessed disciplines specified in the Medical Licensure Act (AÄpprO) thereby concerning the allocation of teaching time, perceived usefulness regarding preparation for state examination and medical practice, their interest and motivation for studying as well as consideration for future work. Results: Internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gynaecology/obstetrics and general medicine rank amongst the upper third regarding allocation of teaching time and perceived usefulness for future medical practice. Concerning both preparation for state examination and medical practice internal medicine ranks second, while surgery only 22nd and 28th of 32, respectively. Some clinical-theoretical disciplines (e.g. pharmacology) are in the top ten regarding perceived preparation for state examination, too. Students who consider choosing internal medicine for future work rate associated disciplines significantly higher regarding usefulness for clinical practice (e.g. pharmacology) or motivation for studying (e.g. microbiology) than other students do. Conclusion: A simple survey reveals interesting data on students' perceptions and ideas of medical studies. Though the data are plausible, interpretations should be done with caution. Nonetheless, data like these should give rise to further questions and discussions, e.g. as part of curriculum deliberation.


curriculum; medical education; online survey; student participation

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