Background: Social restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted most learning methods into online courses, especially for medical skills education. However, the effects of online courses on medical skill education amongst medical students are still arguable. The study aims to analyse medical students’ knowledge, attitude, practice and satisfaction towards medical skills between online and offline courses. Method: We performed a case–control study conducted among 533 medical students with online (as a case group, n = 288) and offline courses (as a control group, n = 245). We evaluated three fundamental medical skills, including history taking [HT], lung physical examination [LPE], and heart physical examination [HPE]. We tested the knowledge and skills among students through theory and practical examinations. Students’ attitudes and satisfaction were assessed using a validated questionnaire. Results: The scores for knowledge and practical skills among the online group were significantly higher (p = 0.016, p = 0.004, respectively). In comparison, the scores for the students’ attitudes and satisfaction were substantially lower (p = 0.000, p = 0.003, respectively) compared to the control group. Most of the students in both groups passed the exam (case vs. control = 81.94%; 83.27%, respectively). Males were the only factor associated with a higher rate of passing the examination (OR 0.42, 95% CI [0.27–0.67], p = 0.000). Conclusions: Online learning could be an alternative approach on improving student’s knowledge and practice towards medical skill especially amidst COVID-19 pandemic, however further consideration on student’s attitude and satisfaction are mandatory to achieve appropriate competence as future general practitioner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2182665
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Medical skills
  • cognitive
  • education
  • online learning


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