Attitudes and perceptions of medical students toward neurosurgery

A cross-sectional survey comprising questions based on a Likert scale was used to analyze the attitudes and perceptions of third-year, fourth-year, and fifth-year medical students from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. An anonymous questionnaire containing 15 items was administered and scored following a Likert ranking scale (1, disagree; 2, agree somewhat; 3, agree moderately; 4, agree strongly).

This prospective study included 60 students 20-26 years old (mean age, 23 years old). Most of the students agreed that their neurosurgery teaching is inadequate, neurosurgical history is difficult to obtain, neurosurgical signs are difficult to elicit, the neurosurgery training period is long, neurosurgical illnesses have poor outcomes, and neurosurgery can impede family life (70%-100%).

The findings identify some areas that may be targeted to stimulate and improve medical students’ interest and passion toward the pursuit of neurosurgery as a specialty and ultimately to improve their learning experience (Akhigbe T, Sattar M. Attitudes and perceptions of medical students toward neurosurgery. World Neurosurg. 2014 Feb;81(2):226-8. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Aug 28. PubMed PMID: 23994131.)

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