Background: In 2001, the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) introduced a restructured curriculum in keeping with advances in the philosophy of medical education.
Objectives: To explore the quality of the educational environment in the Undergraduate Medical Programme at the Mona campus of the UWI to identify areas for improvement and examine for any differences in student perception in a transitional medical curriculum.
Methods: The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) was self-administered and completed anonymously during April 2004 by 278 (70%) undergraduate medical students (cohorts 2004 – 2007) registered in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Results: The overall mean DREEM score was 102.80 ± 21.88 (maximum score 200; the higher the score, the more favourable the perception) and there was no significant difference by year of study. Teacher knowledge was highly rated by students but this was overshadowed by concerns about attitudes and behaviour toward students. The quality of the learning atmosphere was poorly rated with general concerns of an overcrowded curriculum, time-table issues and lack of adequate support systems to deal with student stress.
Conclusions: Curriculum managers must identify strategies to improve the student-centredness and student-friendliness of the school’s educational environment.