Final year medical students versus interns: information seeking behaviour about COVID-19 therapy in India

Rosme David, Deepthi Mary George, Shalini Chandra, Vishal Marwaha, Princy Louis Palatty


Background: Doctors alone must be capable of taking ultimate responsibilities for making decisions in clinical uncertainties. A right clinical judgement and management was the ultimate priority for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of our study was to access knowledge about COVID-19 treatment among the final year bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery (MBBS) students and interns and thereby to understand the information seeking behaviour.

Methods: Multicentric cross-sectional questionnaire-based study among the final year MBBS students and interns. The google form questionnaire was sent to the participants through whatsapp or mail. The questions were related to the drugs, the precautionary measures and the dead body disposal in COVID-19. Attitude regarding seeking information about the new disease, updated treatment guidelines as well as the preferred resource materials was also studied. The sample size was calculated based on a pilot study.

Results: Out of 316 participants, 30.7% had good, 53.2% had adequate and 16.1% had inadequate knowledge regarding the updated treatment guidelines.  In one of the questions about hydroxychloroquine, 51.5% final year MBBS students (n=200) and 63.8% interns (n=116) responded correctly (p<0.034). 65.4% gathered information by self-directed learning through various sources. 45.8% gathered information from social media while 44.4% read printed materials and 39.3% heard online/offline lectures.

Conclusions: We conclude that the final year MBBS students and interns have satisfactory knowledge about COVID-19 treatment. Interns had better awareness than the final year MBBS students. Retaining the theoretical knowledge during internship will make the young doctors more confident while practicing.


COVID-19, Final year, Interns, Knowledge, Information seeking behaviour

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