Background: To promote effective education on antimicrobial resistance, appropriate antimicrobial use, and infection control, it is necessary to understand the current perception and knowledge of these issues among future medical practitioners.
Methods: An 8-page paper questionnaire was distributed to all last year medical students at Mahidol University, Chiangmai University and Naresuan University during their last orientation (March-April 2014).
Results: Approximately two-thirds of students (71.5%) completed the questionnaire; 57.0% were females and their mean age was 24.5 (+/-2.2) years. Majority of them recognized that antimicrobial overuse was an important problem in their hospitals (71.0%) and at a national level (84.6%). Nearly all of them (95.5%) agreed or strongly agreed that antimicrobial overuse could lead to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Bedside teaching (85.0%) was considered the best modality for learning about appropriate antimicrobial use, followed by grand round (79.1%) and lecture (71.8%). If they had any questions regarding antimicrobial use, they preferred consulting ward residents (62.6%), followed by asking their attending staffs (57.4%) and studying the antimicrobial handbooks (52.1%). Surprisingly, existences of antimicrobial stewardship program and infection control unit in the hospital were recognized by only 55.0% and 41.4% of participants, respectively. The overall correct responses to the questionnaire containing knowledge assessments were 63.0%, with statistically significant differences between the three medical schools. Furthermore, the participants' knowledge score was significantly associated with the participants' grade point average (Pearson correlation=0.153;p=0.002).
Conclusion: The problem of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial overuse in Thailand is well recognized by these future practitioners. However, their knowledge of antimicrobial resistance, appropriate antimicrobial use, and infection control is substantially limited. Additional efforts should be made to assure that the medical students have a comprehensive knowledge and skills in the rational antimicrobial use and appropriate infection control practices prior to their graduation.
R. Deoisares, None
V. Thamlikitkul, None
P. Rattanaumpawan, None