Online Teaching in an Un-prepared Country during COVID-19: An Interview Study on Final Year Medical and Dental Students

Adeel Abbas Dhahri *

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh – NHS Lothian, United Kingdom.

Ayesha Majeed Memon

Dow University of Medical & Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.

Fazila Hashmi

Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Pakistan.

Maria Dhahri

DHQ Indus Hospital, Badin, Pakistan.

Samar Ghufran

Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan.

Muhammad Amer Mian

Central Park Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan.

Abdul Sattar Memon

ISRA Medical University, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Medical Education Pakistan (MEP) Collabo

Various Institutes.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: To assess medical students’ perception of online teaching to suggest transforming the future curriculum in low-economic countries.

Study Design:  Cross-sectional online interview study.

Place and Duration of Study: A team of collaborators interviewed final year medical and dental students of Pakistan from 07/08/2020 till 17/09/2020.

Methodology: A questionnaire was developed based on open and close-ended questions in Google forms; focusing on institutional preparedness, views on online education, the institute’s closure and COVID-19, and long-term effects of closure of the institute. Independent fellow researchers systematically analyzed the unaltered transcripts of the responses, and themes were then identified and coded to conclude the results. SPSS version 23 used for analysis. As this study was based on final year students.

Results: In response to an invitation email, 2442/2661 (91.77%) students voluntarily participate in this qualitative study. Most participants were females (1614, 66.10%). Closing down institutes was directly linked to a lack of motivation and feel of helplessness. As most showed dissatisfaction with online teaching compounded by psychological effects, students feared losing clinical skills and life during the pandemic.

Conclusion: The psychological impact of the crisis led to resistance to accepting the change for a better outcome. Incorporating telemedicine, different interactive learning style to online teaching, and resilience training would result in fruitful outcomes. Developed countries may also guide build infrastructure in developing countries to develop a more robust online teaching methodology in the long-run.

Keywords: COVID-19, undergraduates, medical education, online teaching, telemedicine in clinics, learning styles

How to Cite

Dhahri, A. A., Memon, A. M., Hashmi, F., Dhahri, M., Ghufran, S., Mian, M. A., Memon, A. S. and Collabo, M. E. P. (MEP) (2021) “Online Teaching in an Un-prepared Country during COVID-19: An Interview Study on Final Year Medical and Dental Students”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 33(45B), pp. 30–39. doi: 10.9734/jpri/2021/v33i45B32775.


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