Perspectives of medical students and teaching faculty on teaching medicine in their native language

Ziyad Alrajhi, Ali Alhamdan, Musab Alshareef, Osama Almubaireek, Mahmoud Mahmoud, Aamir Omair, Emad Masuadi, Bashir Hamad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: One of the basic policy questions to be decided at the inception of medical education institutes is the language of instruction. Aims: This study explored the perspectives of medical faculty and students at a college in Saudi Arabia on the language of instruction in medical education. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of undergraduate medical students and full-time faculty members at a medical college in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was conducted in 2016. Each participant completed a self-administered, validated 28-item questionnaire. Results: The total number of students and faculty who responded were 468 (76%) and 37 (93%) respectively. Most students and faculty members agreed that studying in English enables a better access to medical information (n=457, 91%) and more job opportunities (n=419, 83%). Less than 15% of the students preferred to be taught in Arabic in most of the curriculum aspects except for communication skills (n=131, 28%) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) (n=119, 26%). Conclusions: Most medical students and faculty members preferred English as the language of instruction for medical education and did not believe that teaching medicine in Arabic should be sought as a future goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-566
Number of pages5
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabic
  • English
  • Medical education
  • Native language
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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