Annals of African Surgery

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Academic Dishonesty in Medical Schools

Pius Musau


Background: Dishonesty can be found in all aspects of human interaction and is known to be rampant in educational institutions. Little is known about it in medical training and the characteristics of those involved. This study explores the factors that drive academic dishonesty among aspiring doctors.

Objective: To establish the factors driving academic dishonesty among senior medical students.

Design: Cross sectional survey using self-administered questionnaire.

Setting: The School of Medicine, Moi University.

Subjects: One hundred and fifty-six students in the clinical years of study.

Results: Those who had past experience with academic dishonesty had a 70.4% chance of cheating in university compared to 58.9% for those not previously exposed. The odds ratio was 3.6 for males to be involved in academic dishonesty than females. Being aware of academic dishonesty in the Medical School made it 86.3% likely that a student would participate. Having witnessed academic dishonesty in progress was the strongest predictor of likely involvement in cheating.

Conclusion: The cheating medical student in the clinical years is likely to be a male in the early part of the study with similar previous experience, has witnessed cheating and believes that the classmates are actively equally involved.

Key words: Academic Dishonesty, Medical Training, Medical Students
AJOL African Journals Online