Development and validation of a new measure of student attitudes and knowledge of international health and medicine Academic Article uri icon


  • There is increasing awareness of the importance of international health and medicine (IHM) but there is a paucity of data regarding medical students' attitudes towards and knowledge of the subject. To the best of our knowledge there is currently no validated measure to assess this. The aim of the present study was to develop a validated measure of medical students' attitudes and knowledge of IHM and examine its correlates. A panel experienced in IHM formulated attitude and general knowledge items and clinical cases based on personal experience, literature review and texts. The survey was piloted and then administered to 82 students of the Ben Gurion University-Columbia University MD program in IHM, and 59 students from programs without specific IHM focus. Cronbach's a was 0.87. Test-retest reliability of attitudes was r=0.87. Correlation of openness to experience with attitudes was r=0.376, showing construct validity. Third-year IHM students scored higher than incoming students on IHM knowledge and clinical cases, demonstrating sensitivity. General IHM knowledge was positively correlated to clinical IHM knowledge r=0.36, but not attitude or openness to experience. Those with previous IHM work experience showed greater openness and positive attitude. Women showed more positive attitudes towards IHM than men. Attitude was negatively correlated with number of languages spoken r=-0.198. The survey may be a reliable and valid tool to assess and compare medical students' knowledge and attitude toward international health. This survey can be used to evaluate curricular innovations in the field.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005