Author(s): Egwu OA, Anyanwu GE
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Student attrition represents a waste of career opportunity and, at times, results in a holistic loss of sense of self-worth for the students involved. The aim of this study was to evaluate the nature, causes, and impact of medical student attrition in Nigeria. METHOD: A pilot analysis was undertaken using the records of students who failed at medical school as a result of inability to pass the second MBBS examination at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria, between 2002 and 2007. Some of these students were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. RESULTS: Data analysis showed that 58 (7.8\%) of the students admitted into preclinical class withdrew from their study. Thirty-six (62.1\%) were males and the rest were females. Thirteen of those withdrawn were interviewed, and 53.8\% of them believed they had poor academic ability, while 15.4\% attributed their withdrawal to family pressure. No record of guidance or counseling session programs was noted for these students either at the point of withdrawal from the faculty and on the choice of a new career path. CONCLUSION: As a result of the high attrition rate due to low academic ability, efforts should be made to check students for evidence of this at the point of admission to medicine training. Also, more accommodating teaching programs should be encouraged in faculties to accommodate students with such challenges. Good guidance and counseling programs should be encouraged to handle these inevitable cases of attrition when they occur, to avoid the demoralizing low self-esteem that plagues these individuals for the rest of their lives.
This article was published in Adv Med Educ Pract
and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research