Factors Affecting Poor Performance Among First Year Medical Students: A Qualitative Survey

Rafidah Bahari, Norfaizatul Shalida Omar and Atikah Abdul Latiff

Faculty of Medicine, University of Cyberjaya, Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

*Corresponding author email: rafidahbahari@cyberjaya.edu.my


Introduction: First Year MBBS students usually face a difficult time adjusting to the tough medical curriculum eve without the pandemic. Recently in the University of Cyberjaya, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students performing poorly at the recent Year 1 end of course examinations.

Objective(s): The aim of this study is to understand the reasons for poor performance during the end of course examinations among Year 1 MBBS students.

Methodologies: This research utilises a qualitative survey design. All students Year 1 MBBS students with Probation 1 status took part in the survey.

Results: A total of 12 students took part in this study. Almost all students involved agreed that not being able to attend face-to-face teaching and go to campus affected their studies. Analysis showed that the factors for poor performance in this study can be concluded into 4 overarching themes; 1) Personal factors, 2) Environmental factors, 3) Teaching methodology/ faculty factors and 4) Social Factors.

Conclusion: This study confirms that the lockdown imposed to control the pandemic affected students’ performance through personal, environmental, teaching methodology/faculty and social challenges. Although the pandemic is now officially over, there is a need for further studies to develop resilience in students to prevent major adverse events to affect their performance in the future.

Keywords: pandemic; medical students; academic performance