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News vom 27.04.2010

75 per cent of medical students feel ill-prepared for the profession

One half of all medical students consider the medical profession to be attractive, while three-quarters think that the career prospects are good or very good. By contrast, the working conditions for doctors in Germany are not considered to be good: 46 per cent awarded gave the lowest marks (grades 5 and 6 in Germany) for doctor’s working conditions.

Many students bemoan the lack of quality in medical courses. Only 25 per cent state that they feel well prepared for the licensing exams and almost one-third feel ill-prepared for the medical profession. This is the result of a joint survey by the CHE – Centre for Higher Education Development, the publishing house Georg Thieme Verlag and the Universität Tübingen in the run-up of the "Medical studies 2.0” symposium. A total of 300 students across Germany were interviewed using a web-based questionnaire, which asked students for their opinions on the general conditions, study programmes and the new media used in the medical courses. The quality of the medical study programmes at German universities was denoted using the marking system used in German schools (i.e. grade 1 being the best and grade 6 the worst).

Despite the negative results for the study programmes, almost 90 per cent of the students asked would again opt to study medicine, while 78 per cent consider the career prospects for doctors in Germany to be good or very good. However, only 52 per cent assess the attractiveness of the medical profession as good, while the evaluation of working conditions is even worse, with 45 per cent awarding grade 5 or 6 (both of which grades denote a fail). In addition, the attractiveness of the medical profession declines as the study programmes progress: Up to the fourth term, 62 per cent find the profession attractive, whereas it is only 48 per cent in the 11th to 14th terms.

Use of electronic offers varies significantly

There is no single answer to the question of how students learn today and the extent to which they use electronic media. The use of electronic media offers varies significantly: 25 per cent use the home university’s e-learning offers several times a week, but another 25 per cent state that they hardly ever or never use them. Students use the specialist offers from Google and Wikipedia most. Two-thirds of those interviewed (who use Wikipedia) and nearly three-quarters (who use Google) state that they use these offers several times a week for study purposes.

While offers such as training videos or online courses do not yet play a significant role (more than 85 per cent state that they hardly ever or never use online courses), online tests with electronic exam questions that test students’ knowledge are much more popular. Some 40 per cent of students are using these offers several times a week. These offers are most appreciated by students just before an exam.

Under the motto of ”Innovation, reform and perspective“ the Stuttgart medical publisher Thieme, the Universität Tübingen and the CHE jointly organised the ”Medical studies 2.0” symposium. On 27 April 2010, Dr. Frank-Ulrich Montgomery, Secretary of State Anette Widmann-Mauz and experts with scientific and practical backgrounds discussed changes in the political and scientific conditions, new challenges and the use of electronic media.

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Gero Federkeil
Gero Federkeilmehr
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