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Objective: To evaluate the attendance of medical students in the lectures andto identify different factors responsible for low attendance.Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted at three medical collegesin Karachi, Pakistan during July to September 2012. Medical students of3rd year and above representing different medical colleges were asked to fillout a questionnaire to assess the different reasons why medical students tendto absent themselves from lectures, their views regarding content and qualityof lectures. Students having attendance of 50% or more were included in thestudy.Results: A total of 509 student responded to the survey. Two hundred andeighty two students (having >50% attendance in the last semester) were includedin the study. Mean age was 21.14 ± 1.9 years. There were 110 (39%)males and 172 (61%) females. The two most common reasons for not attendingthe lectures were; timing of the lectures not adjusted according tothe students schedule (n=180; 63.8%) and the students preferred self/groupstudy over lectures (n=198; 70.2%). On the other hand majority of the students(n=173; 61.3%) were also of the opinion that it is difficult and complexto learn without lectures.Conclusion: There are various reasons for absenteeism from lectures includingtiming of the lectures and preference for self study. These need to be rectifiedin order to strengthen the learning process in medical undergraduates.
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