Causes of class cancellation in a department of surgery


  1. Sithtichok Laohawilai


10AA Surgery


Department of Surgery, Khon Kaen Medical Education Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand

  • Class cancellations lead to disorganized sequence of topics.
  • Lectures were crammed in the last weeks of surgical rotation period.
  • Further more, the cancellations causing  disarranged academic and extra academic activities.

 This study aims to find out what are the most common causes of class cancellations. 




Summary of Work

A cross-sectional study was conducted during 1st January 2015 - 31st July 2015.

Delphi method was implemented to identify the causes associated with class cancellations.

Panel of surgeons in the department of surgery, Khon Kaen Hospital,were participants.



3-Rounds of Delphi method

 1st round: Open end questions were asked the panel of surgeons through Facebook and Line application.

 2nd round: Answers from 1st round were made a set of questionnaires to ask lecturers by using a Google form in cloud collaboration.

 3rd round :The causes of class cancellation were ranked and applied Likert scale.

Causes of class cancellations were also collected via students' report forms.



Summary of Results

          There are 36 surgeons in the department of Surgery, Khon Kaen Hospital.

         All of them are lecturers for the 4th to 6th year medical students.

        However answers derived from 22 surgeons.

        Causes of classes cancelations found from the 1st round open ended questions were; lecturers-- having emergency operation,  having a meeting, forgeting  the classstudents-- having other activities, having a simultaneous class, 

         Causes of class cancellations found from interviewing and questionnairs in the second round were; surgeons-- having emergency operations, having a meeting; students--having other academic activities.

          The most common cause of cancellation was lecturers having emegency operations.

          Likert scale was not used due to saturated answeres derived through 2 rounds of Delphi method.

          There were 4 medical students reported the most common causes were surgeons having a  meeting  and having emergency operation respectively.



There were many causes of class cancellations.

The most common cause of class cancellation was lecturers having emergency operations.

The second rank was lecturers having a simultaneous meeting.

Whereas the lecturers forgeting the class was the easiest casue to be managed.


Take-home Messages

Reminding the lecturers before the class at least 24 hours could decrease the rate of class cancellations.

Having co-lecturers  for each topic seems important and might decrease the rate of class cancellations.


Dr.Surachai Saranrithichai, Dr.Kanokwan Sriraksa, Dr.Thammasorn Piriyasupong, Dr.Jiratha Budkaew and also all officers in the Khon Kaen Medical Education Center (KKMEC).


  Figure 1 : Changed surgical classes for the 5th year medical students  in  Khon Kaen Hospital during 19 January 2015 - 20 February 2015

                         Arrows show the classes that be changed.

Summary of Work

Figure 2: Diaghram shows process of Delphi method to identify causes of class cancellations in the department of Surgery, Khon Kaen Hospital, Thailand.

Summary of Results

Table 1 : Causes of class cancellations derived from Delphi method and reflected by medical students.

Take-home Messages
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