Pre-service medical education course completion and drop-out rates… – Human Resources for Health

The “Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030” was adopted by the 69th World Wellness Assembly. Amongst its objectives is the strengthening of data upon recruiting with regard to health. These data include the course completion and drop-out rates which are important indices that should be associated with concern to medical schooling and training institutions, and to WHO Member States, to inform mechanisms that support recruitment and retention.

Aside from the health workforce shortages seen in most countries, worsened simply by the phenomenon of emigration, course conclusion and drop-out rates among medical students and college students in allied health professions, have significant economic impact. A high drop-out rate can lead to substantial economic losses to a country, as the public investments made on the education and learning and coaching of learners before they dropped out, are wasted. Apart from the fact that higher drop-out prices may negatively affect the particular image of the affected institutions, the affected students plus their families may suffer psychosocial problems of rejection and reduced self-worth, as well as the opportunity cost plus financial investments made in their own studies.

Whereas the education of various cadres associated with health professionals through existing wellness educational and training organizations remains a fundamental factor in the development of HRH, there exist limited data on the particular course finalization and drop-out rates of medical students and college students in occupations allied in order to medicine. Though this study sought information across health professional plus health workforce groups, only data regarding medical education/ pre-service medical students were obtained. Unlike what has been found in the case of New Zealand, Australia, United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK), with platforms intended for data collation and tracking of the particular performance associated with medical learners, this research found the substantial lack of effective plus efficient platforms and mechanisms for such data collation in most institutions and countries through which data were sought. Whereas little or no difficulty had been experienced within accessing secondary data from New Zealand and Sydney [ 6 ], the limited period for this study coupled with the truth that information were not publicly accessible in some countries due to some restrictions and requirements for application for data (sometimes within a narrow window period to get application) made it difficult to access supplementary data through the Uk Medical Education Database (UKMED) [ 7 ], the database of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Student Records System (SRS) [ 8 ], and the data source of the Organization for Economic Co-operation plus Development (OECD) [ 9 ].

It is apparent from available literature and analyzed information that the program completion plus drop-out rates of healthcare students vary across nations. Data are usually unavailable in order to determine whether there is further variation within countries, or within or across occupations. An analysis associated with publicly obtainable data on pre-service medical students sourced from Healthcare Deans in New Zealand [ 6 ], between the year 2014 and the 12 months 2020, revealed relatively stable high training course completion plus low drop-out rates. Similarly, a study of publicly available data on pre-service medical students sourced from Medical Deans in Australia [ 6 ] between yr 2014 and the season 2020 also revealed relatively stable high course completion and low drop-out prices, even though the rates for Australia were fairly more steady than those for healthcare students within New Zealand. Some drop-out rates are to be expected; this could become because of personal life choices, health reasons, insufficient academic progression or fitness to practice factors. The reasons for the variations present in the particular course-completion plus drop-out prices among pre-service medical college students in New Zealand and Australia are usually not immediately known. In the United States of The united states, a research conducted amongst three (3) cohorts of matriculating classes of medical students plus followed up for 10  years each, revealed a relatively high graduation/course completion price and a low drop-out rate. Among all the healthcare students throughout the 3 cohorts, it was reported that will only 1. 4% associated with the medical students left medical school [ 10 ]. This study finding is similar to the findings in another study upon course conclusion and drop-out rates of US medical learners, sourced from the website from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Student Information System (SRS) [ 8 ]. The AAMC study found that the medical college graduation rates for students undergoing the particular Doctor associated with Medicine (MD) medical degree program remained stable through 1993–1994 via 2012–2013, with a 4-year graduation rate that ranged from 81. 6 to 83. 4% and with a total national attrition rate of 3. 3%. It furthermore found that will 6 years after matriculation, the average graduating rate was 95. 9% for MD students not really participating in combined level programs. This amounts in order to a drop-out rate associated with 4. 1%. These findings are similar to results from the 2004 cross-sectional study of students admitted into the College of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. A study associated with 5 educational years (1994–1998) revealed a low drop-out rate of a few. 8% [ 11 ]. Likewise, a retrospective descriptive research of healthcare school attrition over a 10-year period (2001–2011) carried out at the University Cork, exposed an overall drop-out price of 5. 7% [ 12 ], while another study conducted by Heublein et al. [ 13 ] on drop-out rate among medical college students in Germany found the drop-out rate of 10%. Unlike the particular drop-out price of about 10. 0% plus a high course finalization rate (about 90. 0%) that had been found in a comparative research conducted amongst 5-year undergraduate and 4-year graduate entry medical learners who graduated in the calendar year 2007 and 2008 through the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom [ 14 ], a drop-out rate of 14% has been found from the result of a retrospective study associated with records of medical students between 1983 and 1992 at Leeds School associated with Medicine, United Kingdom [ 15 ]. The variance in the UK research may end up being due to the varied number of cohorts, categories, plus quantity of medical students that were studied, and different interventions introduced over the time period. The previous study of 396 medical college students in Pakistan conducted over a 6-year time period (1996–2001), uncovered a drop-out rate of 16%. [ 16 ]

While it was difficult to source primary and secondary information from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) largely due to non-existing institutional platforms pertaining to regular collation of this kind of important data, data on medical learners from healthcare schools within Nigeria were sourced through the platform of the Medical plus Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) which regulates the particular medical and dental vocations in Nigeria [ 17 ]. The obtained data revealed a contrast from the data acquired from Brand new Zealand plus Australia with an average course completion rate of 88. 3%, and an average drop-out price of 11. 7%. When the findings from New Zealand plus Australia are compared along with the results from Nigeria, we appreciate the variants in program completion and drop-out prices between nations. In comparison with the particular rates attained for Brand new Zealand plus Australia, the observed higher drop-out and lower course-completion rates among medical students in Nigeria, particularly in the respective years associated with 2019 (drop-out rate of 20. 8%) and 2020 (drop-out rate of 15. 8%) will be worthy of further interrogation. The recorded increased drop-out rates may however be attributed to periods of stagnation in a few medical schools in Nigeria because of suspension from the accreditation status associated with some medical schools, disruptions within the academic calendar caused by frequent industrial actions by educational staff of universities, industrial actions simply by medical doctors and other wellness workers, as well because disruptions due to the particular COVID-19 pandemic (particularly during the first wave associated with COVID-19 within Nigeria in the year 2020) [ 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 ]. The difference in admission policies, duration of research, curriculum, plus adopted teaching and teaching methods may also account meant for the difference in drop-out prices involving the countries [ 24 ] since the traditional type of curriculum is usually used within Nigeria. Furthermore, as had been observed in the literature review done by Arulsamy Anand [ 25 ] on factors for drop-out in healthcare schools, other probable reasons for the higher drop-out price may be the lack of motivation and weak academic abilities of several medical college students, health challenges, and financial constraints experienced by some medical students (especially those with poor socio-economic backgrounds) worsened by absence of student loans and bursaries. Another factor may be the availability of student welfare services including academic advising and counselling services, along with the increasing emigration of families from Nigeria to some other developed nations, with healthcare students withdrawing from school to enable them emigrate with their families. [ 26 , 27 ]


There was great difficulty in accessing data upon course completion and drop-out rates through medical educational training institutions/medical schools, essentially due in order to the virtual non-existence associated with institutional systems and systems for such data collation, and within some cases, the limitations imposed on public access to this kind of data. These types of significantly restricted the information that could be found directly in the training course of this particular study. Another limitation was the fact that majority of accessible literature upon course conclusion and drop-out rates involved studies conducted in high income and developed countries, a fact that will made comparative analysis hard. The non-uniform number plus cohort of medical learners studied within this paper and in most of the books found on course completion and drop-out rates, and also the limited amount of nations studied, is definitely a limitation on the generalizability associated with the study findings. An additional limitation was your non-segregation into public plus private medical schools in most of the particular publicly offered data. A segregation of the data would have helped to evaluate if there had been any variations within the program completion and drop-out prices between general public and private medical colleges.


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