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LECOM- PBL vs LDP

Lfribble

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Hi, I recently interviewed with LECOM and was very impressed with the PBL pathway but when asked, chose the lecture path because it's what I'm used to and I know I learn well that way. Now I am thinking I might want to switch paths, the PBL seems like it is very integrative and like it would help down the road by working with the student "patient" and obtaining the info from the "patient". Anyone from LECOM have any comments, why or why not they like the path they are on? Any pluses or minuses of either path that you can think of? Thanks!
 

allendo

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Hi, I recently interviewed with LECOM and was very impressed with the PBL pathway but when asked, chose the lecture path because it's what I'm used to and I know I learn well that way. Now I am thinking I might want to switch paths, the PBL seems like it is very integrative and like it would help down the road by working with the student "patient" and obtaining the info from the "patient". Anyone from LECOM have any comments, why or why not they like the path they are on? Any pluses or minuses of either path that you can think of? Thanks!

If you choose LDP you will be in class 8-5 M-F for two years!! Think about how great that sounds!
 

doctorE2010

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I highly recommend PBL. I also initially put LDP as my first choice, out of fear, but then called them to change it after I interviewed at Bradenton and they "sold" me on PBL. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions. It might be too late in the season to get into PBL now, but you never know.
 
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24IdaFire

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I am PBL at LECOM – Erie. It all depends on how you learn. If you need everything presented to you in an organized format, and you like to memorize power points, then LDP is for you. If you learn from reading out of the book on your own time then PBL is for you. PBL may seem disorganized when you first jump into it, but once you get into the swing of it isn’t to bad.
 

Mista Suprane

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MSIV (class of '07) LECOM PBLer here.

i was also waitlisted for PBL (accepted into LDP), and they called me a couple of weeks after my acceptance to tell me that there was a spot if i wanted it. i took it, and i have no regrets.

you have to be a motivated independent student to succeed, one of those people that always asks why? to every question. inquisitive, perseverent people do the best in PBL. yeah, i suppose it is nice to have the structure of LDP once in awhile, but once you finish anatomy, you have tests almost every single week, and a lot of said powerpoints that you have to memorize are by clinicians who don't really teach you anything. so many of my close friends who did LDP were frustrated at having to just memorize 300-400 slides per test (especially during second year). also, if we felt we had a weakness in a particular area, the faculty were more than willing to give us a lecture or two on any topic (we utilized this at least once if not twice almost every exam during second year). the PhDs in biochemistry, physiology, and microbiology are particularly strong, and were excellent people who would often go out of their way to help us.

PBL students also did markedly better on boards our year (at least 50 points higher than the LDP average); probably not because of the teaching style per se, but more because we spent our time learning from textbooks (which is where the board exams are written from) rather than some clinician's idea of what is important. as cool as it is to learn about the stuff you'll be doing as a third year and beyond, that stuff is not on step I. also, we had SO MUCH more free time. with the mandatory attendance policy (which, admittedly many LDP students violated), most LDP kids were in class all day, and then had to go home and study. we met three times a week for two hours, and that was it (except for OMM, which all pathways had on wednesday). that left time for working out, partying, sleeping, and studying WHENVER is comfortable for you. plus the fact that tests are only once a month or even six weeks promotes the true learning of subjects on a long term basis, as opposed to cramming into your short term memory (and then rapidly forgetting everything - gee, that doesn't sound like good board study, does it? :rolleyes: )

the funny thing is, the LDP kids thought we were lazy slackers, because we were never in school. what they didn't know was that two weeks before a test, we would be holed up in some coffee shop or library studying in groups for 8 hours a day, 14 days straight. so don't think it's the easy way out, because it's not. you really have to study hard - this is medical school after all. some PBLers found out the hard way; a few students did poorly on boards, and some were not allowed to take them because of their bad grades. for an even more dramatic example of how PBL really requires personal motivation (and is not for everyone), just take a look at LECOM-B (or as we affectionally call it, FLECOM). they are all PBL, and i think 1/4 of their first class (now third years) failed the boards. maybe they just have too much fun in the sun down there, and don't study. :)

anyway, i would definitely do PBL if i had to do it over again. you just have to make sure that you're gonna work hard; you won't have the weekly tests to keep you in line, only 2-3 tests a semester to check your progress. and it would really suck to find out the hard way that you really just aren't motivated enough to learn most stuff on your own.

finally, this is just one side of the story. i'm sure there are people that chose LDP that loved it and succeeded too. you are early in your career (as am I); make sure you take everything you read on these forums with a grain of salt.

if you or anyone else has any questions, you can post here or PM me. i've really only touched the tip of the iceberg - i haven't even addressed the strengths of the actual learning model, or how our clinical experience during years 1 and 2 is stronger that the LDP/ISP method.
 
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Jamers

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Hi, I recently interviewed with LECOM and was very impressed with the PBL pathway but when asked, chose the lecture path because it's what I'm used to and I know I learn well that way. Now I am thinking I might want to switch paths, the PBL seems like it is very integrative and like it would help down the road by working with the student "patient" and obtaining the info from the "patient". Anyone from LECOM have any comments, why or why not they like the path they are on? Any pluses or minuses of either path that you can think of? Thanks!

Being in a lecture hall for most of the day is pointless. Do anything you can to avoid that.
 

SkunkLuver

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I'm currently a third year at LECOM. I was LDP and even though sometime it was painful overall I felt like I got a great education. Some of the things I learned through lectures seemed to stick really well. At times while on clinical rotations right now I felt better prepared them PBL or ISP. Hope this helps- good luck! :)
 

MDDOBS

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LECOM PBL still does not have the best reputation in the minds of a number of clinical rotation affiliates (I have friends who are docs at two of LECOMs more established clinical sites who have flat out told me that they have not had good experiences with LECOM PBLers... they feel that they don't know their basics very well).

The idea of PBL is great. They've made strides, but LECOM's program still has a long way to go in the eyes of people that matter.
 

Mista Suprane

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LECOM PBL still does not have the best reputation in the minds of a number of clinical rotation affiliates (I have friends who are docs at two of LECOMs more established clinical sites who have flat out told me that they have not had good experiences with LECOM PBLers... they feel that they don't know their basics very well).

The idea of PBL is great. They've made strides, but LECOM's program still has a long way to go in the eyes of people that matter.

some of this may be true - there are a few people in my PBL class that really took laziness to an art, and didn't learn much as a result. i reiterate that for the lazy, unmotivated student, the "boot camp" experience of LECOM's LDP program (weekly test, mandatory attendance, etc. etc.) would be the best choice. several of these types that ended up in PBL would be scary as doctors. unfortunatly, you have to be a big time self learner, as this pathway can tend to breed complacency.

however, for the motivated, inquisitive student, PBL is a good choice. the early exposure to h&p/labs/x-rays/medications in the PBL format does do a good job at preparing you for clerkships, if you care enough to learn this stuff. you are utilizing this stuff from day 1, at every PBL meeting, for two years. you will be more comfortable at asking relevant questions on a history, and interpreting lab results than your LDP/ISP colleagues. and as i said before, the increase in free time, if used to study, translates into better board scores. the majority of the top board scores in my class and the ones before and after were from pbl.

finally with regards to your statement, a "couple of friends at at a few of LECOM's more established sites" not having good experiences with PBLers really isn't a large enough sample to make such a broad statement that "LECOM's program still has a long way to go in the eyes of people that matter." i'm sure your friends feel this way for a reason, but i know many LDP/ISP students that are equally lacking in fundamentals. if you're lazy, you're lazy - doesn't matter what pathway you're in.

as a side note for others, at mercy and west penn hospital (which are THE best clinical sites to rotate at with regards to future opportunities), where LECOMers rotate with jefferson and temple students respectively, the perception amongst most attendings is that in general LECOM students (regardless of pathway) are usually stronger (harder working, more knowledgeable) than the kids from these allopathic schools.
 

Mista Suprane

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I'm currently a third year at LECOM. I was LDP and even though sometime it was painful overall I felt like I got a great education. Some of the things I learned through lectures seemed to stick really well. At times while on clinical rotations right now I felt better prepared them PBL or ISP. Hope this helps- good luck! :)

here is a good argument for LDP - if you are one that learns well in lecture while taking notes (which many people are), this is probably the pathway for you.
 

Mista Suprane

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Shameless threadjack - any opinions on other LECOM rotation sites - what's good, what's not so good?

any place with a residency program in place for whatever rotation you are on, especially for inpatient rotations. some rotations may be difficult/impossible (peds comes to mind):

conemaugh memorial medical center(in johnstown, PA) - IM, surgery, FP, Path
frankford Hospital (philly) - IM, ER, FP (some subspecialty surgery, and i think OB residents from other hospitals rotate here as well) - osteopathic
memorial Hospital (york, PA) - IM, EM, surgery, ortho, OB-gyn- osteopathic

just to check it out, i went to the LECOM clinical affiliate list, and i was surprised to see UH (CWRU) main campus listed. this was definitely not an option for us or the year after us, and i don't know what rotations are available there, but this would obviously be an awesome choice as well if it is a true affilliate.

and since you are a LECOM-B student, and probably want to stay in fla, you might want to consider doing your electives (which don't have to be at affiliates) at really good hospitals (Tampa General, Shands, Mayo-Jax, Jackson Memorial). yes, it may be some work to set up the rotations, but letters of recommendation from those places will go a long way, especially if you are trying to go allopathic.

i'm sure i'm missing a lot; anyone else care to add any cool rotation sites?
 
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MDDOBS

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finally with regards to your statement, a "couple of friends at at a few of LECOM's more established sites" not having good experiences with PBLers really isn't a large enough sample to make such a broad statement that "LECOM's program still has a long way to go in the eyes of people that matter." i'm sure your friends feel this way for a reason, but i know many LDP/ISP students that are equally lacking in fundamentals. if you're lazy, you're lazy - doesn't matter what pathway you're in.

If you find it necessary to quote me, at least get it right. I never said "couple" of friends; rather, a high number of friends at two of LECOM's better sites (UPMC and West Penn) have not been very impressed with LECOM's PBL pathway. The same feeling is held throughout many of the departments located there. The "broad statement", as you put it, is not solely based upon those opinions, either. But instead based on a few years of experience in developing curriculum and faculty development programs for some of Pennsylvania's medical schools, and also recognized while a student and practicing clinician with UPMC.

LECOM has made tremendous strides in its short time of existence, but many "kinks" still need to be worked out. The PBL pathway being a major one.
 

Mista Suprane

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If you find it necessary to quote me, at least get it right. I never said "couple" of friends; rather, a high number of friends at two of LECOM's better sites

let's try to keep the arguments about semantics to a minimum, ok? i still say small sample size (not really increased by your use of the word "high").


UPMC presbyterian is certainly not one of our sites (what a different world it would be if it was one); i'm sure you're not referring to UPMC mckeesport or UPMC st. margaret (our only UPMC affiliates) as "better sites."

The "broad statement", as you put it, is not solely based upon those opinions, either. But instead based on a few years of experience in developing curriculum and faculty development programs for some of Pennsylvania's medical schools

many "kinks" still need to be worked out. The PBL pathway being a major one.

so where exactly did you develop curriculum? how long have you been doing it? have you worked with a PBL curriculum before, and know what makes a good one or a bad one? how can you be so sure that LECOM's PBL curriculum needs "kinks" worked out?

or are you really just basing your opinions on the end result (suppposedly weaker students), which your "friends" have told you about?

and since you are claiming expertise in curriculum (or, at the very least, using your experience in this area to form the basis of your argument) perhaps you can comment on the various "kinks" of LDP at LECOM, such as mandatory attendence? most established allopathic institutions do not have such a policy, allowing students to attend only those lectures that they feel they will benefit from actually listening to, and to learn about topics they did not hear in person on their own time. i know for a fact that pitt med has this policy. this lack of free time for LDP kids at LECOM really leads to very little studying for the long term, as all they have time for is to memorize and regurgitate for their weekly tests - another "kink."

the fact of the matter is, board scores are significantly higher in PBL. our class averaged 550 on comlex, compared to 500 (the national average) with LDP. the year before us was an even greater difference. and before you downplay the importance of step I, a practicing clinician at a university institution, such as yourself, would know that the #1 determinant of getting through the door for an interview in a competitive specialty (especially an allopathic one) is a strong step I score. most good programs have cutoffs (and unfortunately, some throw DO applications in the garbage automatically, but that is a whole different issue).


and West Penn)
The idea of PBL is great. They've made strides, but LECOM's program still has a long way to go in the eyes of people that matter.

two of the three LECOM MSIV's who matched into west penn's internal residency last month were PBL. there would have been another west penn internal medicine PBL match, had the third student not signed outside the match at CCF. what departments do your friends work in? i guess the osteopathic program director, dean of clinical medicine, internal medicine program director, and whoever else sits on the residency selection committee at west penn aren't "people that matter?"

so i ask again, which "kinks" are you referring to? the ones that produce higher board scores, and two recent residency matches at one of the hospitals where your "friends" say PBL students are weaker?

I am from NYC, a LECOM grad

my guess is that you were an LDP student who was upset that you had to go to class every day, and thought the PBLers were lazy and didn't do any work. this frustration was fueled by hearing dr. ziegler bash PBL on a daily basis, and further aggravated by the fact you got smoked on boards by a bunch of PBL kids who were never in school.

i have encountered an anti-PBL sentiment similar to the one you are exhibiting, but it is usually from the "old guard" types, who fiercely defend the traditional model of the education of medical students because they believe that change is not good for the system. but since you are a LECOM grad, and LECOM is <15 years old, you are probably too young for this to be the reason for your curmudgeonly commentary...

Oh and by the way, I'm not even a student in Erie. I went to Pitt

while a student and practicing clinician with UPMC.

...or did you even go to LECOM? who are you?

my own personal disclaimer to the above: in all reality, this is just internet banter. honestly, you are an attending, and I am a lowly medical student. geez, i should probably call you "sir." in the real world, i am your b****, and in the game of life, you win. you are probably smarter than me, have worked much harder than i have, and have CERTAINLY achieved more in your life. but that doesn't mean you're gonna be able to punk me down on web forum (at least not without a fight) - especially because i match in a week, and i've got nothing better to do with my time on this cush MSIV rotation than to argue with you. :)

http://www.camdennewjournal.co.uk/2004%20archive/260804/images260804/dodge.jpg

touche.
 

Nightfox

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I'm a lecom pbl MS2 student finishing my last pbl exam soon. All pathways have their definite flaws. PBL has a HUGE flaw: students pick their own learning issues. This means you end up reading out of Robbin's Pathology 90% of the time and subjects such as anatomy, physiology, immunology, and genetics get the backseat. On the other hand, I have a tone of LDP friends and they learn some of the most irrelevant material and have to sit through some pretty rough lectures all day.

If I could do it all over again, I'd do ISP. PBL doesn't have set objectives and in medical school, objectives are important. PBL studnets do get the most experience with understanding labs such as CBC's, CMP's and playing the role of a doctor. The H&P class that pbl students get is amazing, but the rumor is that all students will have this class in the following years.
 
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