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Problem Based Learning

PBL Go​als (PDF)


  • Utilize resources to answer medical questions and evaluate the appropriateness of the resource(s) selected.
  • Develop clinical reasoning skills by improving his/her understanding of the relevance of clinical information and how this is used to appropriately diagnose and treat patients.
  • Thoughtfully discuss the impact that economic, cultural, ethical, professional and societal factors make on the decisions physicians make regarding patient care.
  • Communicate patient information concisely, thoroughly and clearly via a History and Physical note and Oral Presentation.
Structure of the Problem-based Learning (PBL) Curriculum

PBL uses a multidisciplinary approach, designed to break down the traditional barriers of compartmentalization that are imposed by a departmental structure. The PBL curriculum will consist of eight cases in Phase I and four cases in Phase II. Each case will require two or three 2-hour meetings in small groups of eight to nine students. The cases will be presented in the problem-based learning style, where clinical situations are revealed in consecutive sections. In the first meeting the case is analyzed and learning objective/issues are determined. Students then independently research their learning issues and post their summaries online in a Blackboard discussion forum so that everyone can read the learning issues in advance and be ready to discuss at the next session. For the second session, students return to discuss how they satisfied their learning issues and then are presented with more information and additional problems. These problems help students bring together information that they have learned or will learn in lectures, labs, small groups, and on their own. The tutor will provide feedback to the students on whether the major goals of the case have been covered. At the end of each case, there will be questions that the group should answer to determine if they have learned the case content.