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Saudi Med J. 2019 Jun;40(6):601-609. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.6.23863.

Cultural influence on generational gaps: A case for medical education in the Gulf region.

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Ophthalmology Department, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail.



 To explores cultural differences between generations of faculty and students in undergraduate medical education and to develop an educational framework for stakeholders involvement.


 This is a prospective cross-sectional mixed method study. A survey was administered on students and faculty members to measure generational differences using Hofstede's dimensions of cultural orientation. The study took place at King Abdulaziz University-Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on February 2015. Quantitative methods, descriptive statistics, and correlations and regression analyses were used in data analysis. In addition, qualitative data from focus groups were used to explain findings obtained from the survey.


 A total of 736 respondents were surveyed (129 faculty members and 607 medical students). Faculty members across all generations shared the same cultural values of low power distance and masculinity and high uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation and collectivism. Advanced medical students showed higher power distance, collectivism, masculinity and long-term orientation than faculty members; junior medical students have higher masculinity and lower uncertainty avoidance and collectivism.


 This study explains both the cultural gap between Saudi and Western medical students as well as between Saudi generations, demonstrating the need for customized curricular revisions.

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