Implementation of the Molecular Basis of Medicine Course at Unaizah College of Medicine (UCM), Qassim University, Saudi Arabia from Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM), Wright State University: Analysis of Student Performance in 2014–2015

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In 2013, BSOM and UCM in Saudi Arabia entered a partnership, one that would transfer the medical school curriculum from BSOM to UCM. All components of the curriculum including courses, learning materials, instructional methods (peer instruction sessions (PI), team based learning sessions), and examinations were transferred. In fall 2014, UCM initiated its first class of medical students who matriculated into the first year of the BSOM curriculum at UCM. One year 1 course, Molecular Basis of Medicine (MBM) is comprised of molecular biology, biochemistry, metabolism, and human genetics. Our goal was to compare directly final grades of the UCM and BSOM Med 1 students in MBM. Analysis of the grading showed that 92.7% of BSOM students (n=111) passed the course, compared to 91.6% of UCM students (n=70). When broken down by sex, 96.7 % of UCM men (n=30) passed, while 93% of BSOM men (n=57) passed. UCM women (n=40) had 87.8 % pass rate, compared to 92.6 % for BSOM women (n=54).The final course averages were 80.5% +/− 10 for UCM and 84.4% +/− 8.4 for BSOM students, suggesting that there is a similar outcome in the two countries using the same material. Women achieved scores of 78.3% +/− 11 at UCM while at BSOM, they scored at 83.6% +/− 8.7. Men averaged 82.1% +/− 10 at UCM and 85.1% +/− 8.0 at BSOM. However, the two institutions exhibited distinctly different results on exams; UCM students achieved 76.7 %+/− 9 average on exams, while BSOM students scored 82.6% +/− 8.9. Furthermore, UCM men achieved 79.6% +/− 10, while the women scored 74.5% +/− 9 as compared to BSOM men scoring 83.3 %+/− 9 and 81.9% +/− 9 for BSOM women. UCM faculty greatly enhanced student learning by initiating innovative teaching techniques for their students. UCM faculty devised PI based reviews prior to exams, assessed each examination result, and using guidelines established by the Saudi government and Qassim University, made adjustments to exams. The analyzed data to date suggest that there is no major difference in the final student grades for the first iteration of MBM between BSOM and UCM. The only observed difference between BSOM and UCM student achievement is that UCM students are stronger in the active learning portion of MBM and weaker in the examination portion of MBM than BSOM Med 1 students. In order to address this potential problem, the UCM faculty and administration have revamped the premed curriculum at Qassim University/UCM. More data analyses on MBM at both UCM and BSOM in the coming years will provide additional and more quantitative results on this unique partnership. The BSOM‐UCM partnership is best exemplified by the MBM course, in which a team of dedicated team of faculty and administrators implemented a complete, well‐established course from a fully accredited USA medical school in a new medical school in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite being separated by 8000 miles in distance.