Medical Colleges in Saudi Arabia: Can We Predict Graduate Numbers?

Alaa Althubaiti, Mohammad Alkhazim


The shortage of Physicians is a major problem in many countries. Medical colleges are often encouraged to increase the graduate numbers. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi physicians form only 37.89% of the physician manpower. The remainder of the physicians are expatriates. It was recently estimated that the Kingdom would need 29,128 physicians by the year 2014 in order to maintain the same physicians-to-population ratio, i.e., 2.7 per 100,000. To solve the problem, the higher education institutions invested in medical education and increased their number of college graduates. However, there are many questions about whether this strategy will proof successful in covering the shortage or whether this will lead to problems, for example an excess in the number of physicians. These can only be answered if future graduate numbers are estimated and kept under control. In this study, common data mining techniques were reviewed and applied to the output of Saudi medical colleges over the past years. These techniques can be used to predict graduate numbers. The results show the importance of developing a national student information center to fix the data collection problems described in this paper.

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Higher Education Studies  ISSN 1925-4741 (Print)   ISSN 1925-475X (Online)


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