Students’ Insights on the Suitability and Adaptability of Two Undergraduate Medical and Dental Curricular Pathways before and during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey

Christy Okoromah, Jennifer Okei, Goodness Udotong, Oluchi Buchi-Njere, Jessica Ike, Adebisi Anthonia Adeyeye, Fuad Savage, Michael Nwobu, Oribolawale Owate, Ugochukwu Eze


The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown disrupted every human endeavour including the world of medical education, halting pre-clinical and clinical trainings as well as graduation of physicians for the healthcare workforce thus posing a double jeopardy at a time of dire need for increased healthcare personnel. The adaptability and preparedness of training curricula for emergencies such as natural and man-made disasters ultimately determine the degree of disruption in medical education. This study explored students’ insights on the efficacy and suitability of two curriculum pathways before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted between 2020 and 2021 in a public medical school using 102-item questionnaire administered online to 300 medical and dental students exposed to different training curricula- a “Traditional Curriculum”, and a new “SPICCES Curriculum” that emphasizes student-centred designs. The questionnaire response rate was 93.3% comprising 55.7% and 44.3% female and male respondents, and 78.6% and 21.4% medical and dental students respectively with a mean age of 22.1 ± 2.39 years (range: 18-33 years). A total of 65.4% and 34.6% respondents were on the SPICCES and Traditional curriculum pathways respectively. More respondents in the SPICCES curriculum compared with the traditional curriculum track (70.5% vs 52.6%; χ2 = 8.862, p = 0.003, φ = -0.178) had favourable perspectives on the relevance of their program and the overall quality of the curriculum in preparing them to be rounded physicians for the 21st-century (59.0% vs 27.8%). Approximately 47.0% and 33.0% (χ2 = 3.990, p = 0.046, φ = -0.119) respondents in dentistry and medicine respectively had unfavourable perception about the relevance of the SPICCES curriculum. Findings in this study echo the need for student-centred curriculum designs and conducive educational environments that are resilient to emerging and established threats to educational pedagogy and programs. The study highlights the need for programs that support social and extracurricular activities for students.

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Copyright (c) 2022 Christy Okoromah, Ugochukwu Eze, Olubunmi Salako, Ugonna Fakile, Adebisi Anthonia Adeyeye, Jennifer Okei, Goodness Udotong, Oluchi Buchi-Njere, Jessica Ike, Fuad Savage, Michael Nwobu, Oribolawale Owate

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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