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OBJECTIVE: To compare the first-year medical undergraduates’ perceptions regarding their institutional educational environment in traditional and integrated medical curricula by using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory.
METHODS: This cross-sectional comparative study was conducted in 2017-18 at two medical institutions of Rawalpindi and Islamabad labeled as Institution A (with integrated curriculum) and B (with traditional curriculum). After seeking written informed consent, paper format DREEM questionnaire was administered to 100 first year MBBS students. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 24. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied.
RESULTS: Mean global DREEM score for institution A was 131.09±19.94 with minimum score of 87 and maximum score of 175. Mean global DREEM score for institution B was 117.11±21.02 with minimum score of 65 and maximum score of 167. These scores reveal a “more positive” environment (scores of 101-150), with no statistically significant difference (p-value >0.05) between them. DREEM subscales scores for both institutions indicated room for improvement at both institutions in all five domains.
CONCLUSION: We concluded that there were no statistically significant differences between first year medical students’ perceptions of their respective institutional educational environment in integrated versus traditional medical curriculum by using DREEM. However, students in integrated medical curriculum perceived their educational environment more positively than their counterparts in traditional medical curriculum.
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