Problem-Based Learning in Medicine: A Practical Guide for Students and Teachers

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9781853154300: Problem-Based Learning in Medicine: A Practical Guide for Students and Teachers
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The essence of problem-based learning is that a group of eight to 10 students decide for themselves what they need to study after discussing trigger material, such as a written problem. After a few days of self-study, they meet to share, compare, and relate what they have found to the original trigger matter, and to see if they have covered enough ground.

Problem-based learning, as currently employed in medical education, originated at McMaster University in Canada, and has been adopted by about one-quarter of all medical schools in the US and about one-half of those in Canada, with Europe and the rest of the world catching up rapidly. Despite the widespread use of problem-based learning in higher education (including medicine, dentistry, health sciences, law, economics and mathematics), there has until now been a serious lack of published practical advice of both students and teachers.

This is a 'how to do it' book, intended for students, teachers and those still at school who are trying to decide whether or not to choose a medical school that uses problem-based learning or one that has a more traditional approach to medical education. After a brief introduction, the book explains what problem-based learning is and how it works, and how it fits in with what we know about how adults learn. There are chapters on how to design problems and trigger material, how a tutorial group works, and how self-assessment, peer-assessment and tutor assessment are undertaken. There is practical advice for students, e.g. how to make the transition from a traditional school education to a much more self-directed kind of activity, in which it might be easy to get lost without some practical guidance at the outset. There is practical advice for teachers, who have the job of helping students adapt and cope with the sudden change of no longer being told what to do. The book concludes with chapters on serious pitfalls and a brief discussion of what problem-based learning can be expected to achieve.

STEPS IN THE TUTORIAL PROCESS IN PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING

Steps 1 to 7:

1. Clarify unfamiliar terms
2. Define the problem(s)
3. Brainstorm possible hypotheses or explanations
4. Arrange explanations into a tentative solution
5. Define learning objectives
6. Gather information and private study
7. Share the results of information gathering and private study

Steps 5 to 8 within a clinical medical curriculum:

5. Define learning objectives and requisite clinical experience
6. Gather information and requisite clinical experience
7. Share the results of information gathering and private study
8. Discuss clinical experience

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About the Author:

T J David PhD MD FRCP FRCPCH DCH
Professor of Child Health and Paediatrics, University of Manchester; Chairman, Curriculum Development Committee, Faculty of Medicine

Leena Patel MD MRCP FRCPCH MHPE
Senior Lecturer in Child Health, University of Manchester
Families and Children Module, Research Project Options and Year 5 Management Groups, Faculty of Medicine

K Burdett BSc PhD CChem FRSC
Senior Lecturer in Medical Biochemistry, University of Manchester; Director of Studies Years 1-2 Programme & Admissions Tutor, Faculty of Medicine

Patangi Rangachari MB BS PhD
Professor of Medicine, Intestinal Disease Research Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Director, Honours Biology-Pharmacology Co-op Programme

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