Do Thai Medical Students Understand What ‘AEC’ Mean?: A Cross-sectional Survey,

  • Jathurong Kittrakulrat
  • Ravipol Jurjai
  • Witthawin Jongjatuporn
  • Nicha Jarupanich
  • Annabel Bhamani
  • Krit Pongpirul
Keywords: medical students, linguistics, Thailand



As medical students inevitably involved in the regional collaborative movement of 10 countries toward the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), this study explored how well they understand the term.


Twelve students proposed an abbreviation list, which was then rated for their difficulty level by another 55 students using a 5-point Likert scale. Three easy, 3 medium and 3 difficult abbreviations were randomly chosen and randomly listed in the final questionnaire, along with ‘AEC’. Another randomly selected 60 students were asked to write the full term of the 10 abbreviations.


Of 34 abbreviations in the initial list, the selected terms were: CMCTSD, SRL, LSC, SOS, AM, LOL, WHO, USA, UK. They were correctly answered in 0, 0, 0, 6.67, 13.33, 46.67, 81.67, 96.67, and 98.33 percent, respectively. AEC was moderately difficult as 30% correctly spelled it out.


Majority of medical students lacked an understanding of the current AEC movement.


1. Urata S, Okabe M. Toward a Competitive ASEAN Single Market : Sectoral Analysis. Jakarta, Indonesia: ERIA Research Project Report; 2011.
2. Porter ME. The competitive advantage of nations. New York: Free Press; 1990.
3. Test and Score Data Summary for TOEFL iBT Tests. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service; 2014.
4. Johnson RB, Onwuegbuzie AJ, Turner LA. Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 2007;1:112-33.
5. Spearman C. The proof and measurement of association between two things. International Journal of Epidemiology 2010;39:1137-50.
6. Chongkittavorn K. Is Thailand ready for Asean Economic Community? The Nation 2014.
7. Atagi R. Secondary teacher policy research in Asia : Secondary teacher in Thailand. Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok; 2011.
8. Supanatsetakul N. Perceived Readiness and needs of Thai medical student in order to become an English proficient doctor. The 7th Postgraduate Forum on Health Systems and policy for the ASEAN Economic Community: "Share Visions and Goals". Faculty of Medicine, Naresuan University, Thailand 2013.
9. Kittrakulrat J, Jongjatuporn W, Jurjai R, Jarupanich N, Pongpirul K. The ASEAN economic community and medical qualification. Global Health Action 2014;7:24535.
10. Marschark M, Spencer PE. Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press; 2003.
11. Nakagawa JT, Akpinar-Elci M. Medical Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Female Sex Workers and Their Occupational Risk Factors. International Journal of Medical Students 2014;2:104-8.
How to Cite
Kittrakulrat, J., Jurjai, R., Jongjatuporn, W., Jarupanich, N., Bhamani, A., & Pongpirul, K. (2018). Do Thai Medical Students Understand What ‘AEC’ Mean?: A Cross-sectional Survey,. International Journal of Medical Students. Retrieved from
Short Communication