A pilot study on self-perceived need for management training among medical students in Latvia

Juris Barzdins1 and Atis Barzdins2

1Centre for Health Management and Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Latvia, Latvia

2Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, USA

Submitted: 03/10/2012; Accepted: 07/03/2013; Published: 25/03/2013

Int J Med Educ. 2013; 4:59-65; doi: 10.5116/ijme.5138.e068

© 2013 Juris Barzdins & Atis Barzdins. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: To assess the self-perceived need and preferred format for educational intervention among Latvian medical students in fostering the increasing demanding of management-related competences for healthcare professionals.

Methods: A cross sectional study design was used to assess student-perceived deficiencies and the need for knowledge and skills in 10 different domains of activity. All medical students from one of the two major Latvian universities were invited to participate in this survey. The knowledge gap between perceived deficiency and actual need for training in specific domains was calculated. Possible correlations between a total gap of knowledge and selected demographic parameters were identified.

Results: The response rate to this web-based questionnaire was 101/458 (22%). The most evident gaps were reported in the domains of Management of Legal Issues in Health Care (47%), followed by the domains of National Healthcare System (37%) and Management of Safety and Quality (37%). The knowledge gap was wider among students with a higher degree of perceived competition their chosen speciality (R=0.25, p=0.011) and with a preference to work in private clinic (R=0.26, p=0.009), but it narrowed with advanced degree of studies (R= -0.27, p=0.006).

Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates that medical students recognise the necessity for additional training in management. It also highlights those domains of managerial skills and knowledge in which the students have observed the most notable existing deficiencies. These gaps and resultant issues should be addressed in the development studies programmes.