Attrition Rate and Reasons for Attrition in Medicals Schools Worldwide- an Analysis

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DOI: 10.21522./TIJBMS.2016.03.01.Art001

Authors : Arulsamy Anand


Background: Students attrition in Medical schools is a major concern, attrition rates are one of the important indicators being used by the accrediting bodies to measure the medical schools’ performance. Having understood the gravity of this issue, medical schools are paying great attention to curb the attrition rate. This review aims to understand the various reasons identified by worldwide medical schools for the attrition of students. The reasons identified by different medical schools and the attrition rate, detailed in this study will be of great value to the medical school administrators to address the attrition in their respective medical schools.

Methods: Based on the determined eligibility criteria, six electronic databases were searched in the year 2018 for relevant articles. Nine relevant articles were chosen for the study, the articles where chosen based on the experience of different medical schools from different countries, which include the UK, Nigeria, Jeddah, Croatia, Pakistan, Ireland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Malaysia. Articles that reported the attrition rate and the reasons were chosen. An analysis was done to understand the experience of the worldwide medical schools and the reason attributed to attrition.

Results: A careful analysis of nine articles reveals that the attrition rate varied from 3.8% in Saudi Arabia to 26% in Croatia medical schools. UK medical school showed an attrition rate of 14%, Ireland- 5.7%, Nigeria- 7.8%, Jeddah- 20.8%, Croatia- 26%, Pakistan-16%, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-3.8%, Israel- 12.6% and Malaysia- 5.9%. An average attrition rate of 12.5% was found in all schools from different countries.

The major reason for attrition is found to be academic difficulty followed by absenteeism, isolation, personal problems, psychological problem, and financial problems.

Conclusion: Investment into medical education is expensive compared to the other programs and dropping out from medical schools has multiple implications. The individual student has a major setback in life, the society loses the professional manpower. The medical school loses its revenue and waste its professionals time. In most cases it is observed that students drop out because of academic difficulty hence, it is imperative that medical schools pay more attention to screening students academically and psychologically. It should also create strong students support system and academic mentoring to minimize dropouts.

Keywords: Attrition Rate, Reasons for attrition, Academic difficulty, Dropouts.


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