Incorporating Patient Safety and Quality into the Medical School Curriculum: An Assessment of Student Gains

Fasih Ali Ahmed, Fozia Asif, Ayesha Mubashir, Hanan J. Aboumatar, Malika Hameed, Adil Haider, Asad Latif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Global efforts are being made to improve health care standards and the quality of care provided. It has been shown through research that the introduction of patient safety (PS) and quality improvement (QI) concepts in the medical curriculum prepares medical students to face future challenges in their professional careers. Purpose This study aimed to evaluate how a brief course on QI and PS affects the knowledge, efficacy, and system thinking of medical students. Methods A 5-day QI and PS intervention course was implemented at the Aga Khan University medical college for 98 third-year medical students in March 2021. This weeklong course of lectures, interactive sessions, and hands-on skill workshops was conducted before the students began their clinical rotations. Students' knowledge, self-efficacy, and system thinking were assessed with pretest and posttest. Students were also asked to write personal reflections and fill out a satisfaction survey at the end of the intervention. Results Comparisons of pretest and posttest scores showed that the course significantly improved students' knowledge by a mean of 2.92 points (95% confidence interval, 2.30-3.53; P < 0.001) and system thinking by 0.16 points (95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.29; P = 0.018) of the maximum scores of 20 and 5 points, respectively. The students' self-assessment of PS knowledge also reflected statistically significant increases in all 9 domains (P < 0.001). Students reported positive experiences with this course in their personal reflections. Conclusions The medical students exhibited increases in knowledge, self-efficacy, and system thinking after this weeklong intervention. The design of the course can be modified as needed and implemented at other institutions in low- and middle-income countries. A targeted long-term assessment of knowledge and attitudes is needed to fully evaluate the impact of this course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-644
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • low- and middle-income country
  • medical education
  • patient safety
  • quality improvement


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