Student seminar on smoking: A novel way to introduce different perspectives on smoking to medical students

Saima Perwaiz Iqbal, Shahid Rafi, Matiur Rahman


  • Background: The respiratory module at Shifa College of Medicine (SCM) is delivered in third year with emphasis on respiratory pathophysiology and respiratory medicine. Smoking as a topic was introduced to emphasize the preventive aspects of respiratory illnesses. An innovative approach to involve students in their learning was developed. To determine whether this innovation would be well received and effective for students’ learning about smoking, we carried out this study.
  • Materials and Methods: This is a one group post-test quasi-experiment. Two days were assigned for a smoking seminar. The class of 106 students was divided into 10 batches, and each batch was assigned a theme related to smoking. These themes were developed by the faculty, and each theme was related to a different perspective on smoking. A post-test questionnaire was distributed at the end of the seminar for feedback to see what aspects of students’ learning were highlighted and what needed to be improved upon. Questions related to the usefulness of the activity were incorporated into the questionnaire and the students were asked to agree or disagree on a five-point Likert scale.
  • Results: Most (68.3%) students agreed that this activity improved their knowledge regarding smoking, and 54.8% agreed that it also helped in application of this knowledge. Improvement in presentation and counseling skills (59.8%), evidence-based medicine (47.6%), and softer skills, such as teamwork (72%) and creativity (63.4%), were also reported to be enhanced.
  • Conclusion: Seminars led by the students have shown to be effective in breaking the monotony and generating an interest of the topic. Such an activity serves as a small step to make our graduates more empathic, humane, competent, and skilful.
  • Key words: Medical education, smoking, student seminar

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