Students perspectives on their early dropout of medical school

Ashraf F. Hefny, Alia Albawardi, Moien B. Khan, Mai A. Fathi, Nirmin A. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Enrolling in medical school launches a more demanding and stressful way of life for newly admitted students. Some students will struggle academically and will ultimately drop out from medical school. The study aims to understand the perspectives that dropped-out students have and their opinion regarding possible preventative solutions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study uses a mixed-method approach. The results of students' examinations in the first 2 years of admission (within four academic years from 2016 until 2020) were collected from the medical school records. A questionnaire was developed to investigate the causes of early attrition during the study period. All dropped-out students who were admitted were included in this study. RESULTS: The study included 479 admitted students, 349 (72.9%) were females; 152 (31.7%) students dropped out in the premedical program (first two years); 104 (68.4%) of the dropped-out students were females. Thirty-five (23%) students responded to the questionnaire. Twenty-eight (80%) respondents believed that their low academic performance and leaving medical school was primarily related to psychological problems, 19 (54%) of respondents reported leaving for social reasons, and lack of self-organization in 13 (37.1%) respondents. Human anatomy was recorded as the most difficult course in the first year by 21 (63.6%) students. CONCLUSIONS: The cause of attrition is often multifactorial and complex. Psychological problems are one of the important factors in students with low academic performance and dropping out of the students. Some difficult courses in the curriculum may affect the students' academic performance leading to their attrition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalJournal of Education and Health Promotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2024


  • Attrition
  • education
  • medical school
  • student
  • undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Students perspectives on their early dropout of medical school'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this