Student Participation is a key to Any Change: The Students' Role in Medical Education Reform


Akram Sanagoo 1 , * , Mahin Nomali 1 , Leila Jouybari 1

1 Iran

How to Cite: Sanagoo A , Nomali M , Jouybari L. Student Participation is a key to Any Change: The Students' Role in Medical Education Reform, Strides Dev Med Educ. 2013 ; 10(1):e60881.


Strides in Development of Medical Education: 10 (1); e60881
Published Online: May 15, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: August 26, 2017
Accepted: February 12, 2013




Background & Objective: The general census is that engagement in educational decision making is the students right. To have an effective reform, the students' and faculty members’ involvement are necessary. The aim of this study was to determine the students` perspective of their role in medical education reforms. Methods: In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were performed on 50 students of Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2012. Participants were included in the study by purposeful sampling method and with maximum variation. The data collection stopped when data saturation was achieved. One open-ended question was asked from all of the participants; “what is the student’s role in medical education reform?”. The recoded interviews were transcribed line-by-line and analyzed using content analysis method. Results: Student involvement as a key to any change was the main theme which emerged in the study. Participation in educational decision making, reform-oriented thinking, self-directed and critical attitude, the ability to use applied scientific knowledge, creative thinking, and problem-solving ability were the themes which were obtained. Motivated instructors, dynamic environment, and learning opportunities were also mentioned as crucial elements for the students' participation in education reform. Conclusion: For any educational reform to be successful, it requires students’ involvement. By listening to students, we can learn about the ways of improving the classroom or university. Abilities such as criticism, self-directing, and problem solving plus having committed professors and dynamic learning climate, together make reform possible.


Reform Educational system Medical student Content analysis

© 2013, Medical Education Development Center. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.


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