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*Dr. Ohood O. Alqurashi


Background: The learning environment during residency program can affect the quality of trained doctors and their future career. In this study we aim to assess the learning environment of residents in military hospitals of Taif city, in order to help training programs, recognize defective aspects that can be targeted by further improvement; and highlight strong aspects of the program that need to be enhanced further. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess hospital educational environment for learning purposes in military hospitals of Taif city. Methods: This cross-sectional study involved all residents receiving training in military hospitals of Taif city, Saudi Arabia. To assess the learning environment, residents were asked to respond to a questionnaire that was based on the Postgraduate Hospital Educational Environment Measure (PHEEM), which measures perceptions of autonomy, teaching, and social support. Results: 191 residents responded to the questionnaire. The PHEEM items had a high level of internal consistency among our study sample (Cronbach's alpha was 0.914). Analysis of the frequencies of responses to each item in the PHEEM questionnaire and their mean values in this study showed that the most problematic aspects of the residency program - as perceived by the respondents - included being paged inappropriately, sex discrimination, presence of adequate catering facilities and good quality accommodation for doctors when on call, as well as access to relevant educational programs. Interpretation of the overall score and its subscales showed that most respondents perceived that there are more positive points than the negative with a room for improvement. Their perception of teaching was more favorable than the other two subscales; as 53.4% viewed teaching as moving in the right direction and 32.1% viewed their trainers as model teachers. Univariate analysis showed that sex, stage of residency, and specialty affect the scores. The highest median scores were obtained from men, fifth year residents, and those from internal medicine and pediatrics; while urology had the lowest median scores. Conclusion: Most residents perceived their learning environment as favorable. Some points of weakness were highlighted. We recommend reform measures that target the weak points in the residency program and enhance the strong aspects. Recommended measures include establishing well-defined job descriptions to minimize exploitation; improving catering facilities; and avoiding sex discrimination.

Keywords: Learning environment; medical education; residency; medical training; evaluation.

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