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PBL vs. Traditional in Boards Preps/Gen Knowledge/Basic Science Knowledge

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mandark20, Jul 7, 2001.

  1. mandark20

    mandark20 Junior Member

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    Hi, I'm trying to decide between these two programs at two diff. schools, SIU which is 100% PBL, almost no lecture (you have to decide what to study, amount of detail, stuff like that), and Rush which is pretty standard. Will my performance on boards be affected by the program (considering I would work hard in either case)? Has anyone had any experience with this? I'm afraid PBLs lack of direction will adversly affect the amount of information/knowledge I have or will get. I mean there will be very little to go on to decide what to learn/emphasize, you can't get everything you read in books. Thanks a bunch
     
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  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Everyone prefers a different method of learning, so you will have to guess which will be the best type of curriculum for you. I think students at schools that have 100% PBL generally have lower scores on Boards Step 1, but they do better in clinics during the 3rd and 4th years. In the end, though, it all evens out.

    Personally, I chose a school that is more lecture-based, with some PBL incorporated into the 2nd year, because I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough direction and wouldn't learn what I should know in a 100% PBL program. I've heard that it's very possible to "slip through the cracks" with PBL, and not learn the right material, but I think that can also happen with a traditional curriculum as well. I think that having a mix is the best-case scenario for me, because you get the "basics" in a lecture format, but you still can synthesize clinically relevant information and go through that thought-process using some PBL format later on.
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    The literature backs up ajm. Students at PBL schools, on the average, do worse on Step 1 but better on Step 2 (not sure if it was significantly better or worse though) and by Step 3, it all evens out.

    Of course, Step 1 is generally seen as more important for residency placement but there is no reason why you cannot do well and succeed in ANY curriculum. PBL just makes it a little harder to get the information into your head.

    best of luck :D
     
  5. girl8

    girl8 Junior Member

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    What about curriculum that is organ-based vs. traditional basic science-based (i.e.
    biochem, pharm, patho)--Which prepares
    you better for the boards (Step I)?
     
  6. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    I'd also like to hear some thoughts about organ-based teaching vs. traditional. Just curious.
     
  7. girl8

    girl8 Junior Member

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    Kimberli or any MS-3-4's,

    No input???
     
  8. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Sorry - didn't see the above query. I have not seen any literature comparing USMLE scores between organ based and more traditional curriculums. Perhaps someone with a few moments could do a MedLine search and post the results? :D
     
  9. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Senior Member
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    I can't comment on differences in board scores between organ-based and traditional curriculums but I can say that there can be a large difference in clinical content between the two. My school uses an organ-based curriculum and most of the learning focuses heavily on clinical material with very little emphasis on the basic sciences. As a result, most of our exams are extremely clinical such that I have often used Step 2 study aids (not Step 1) to study for them. In fact, for our second year comprehensive exam (as a Canadian school, we don't have to write the USMLE's) some of my classmates used practice questions for Step 2. My classmates who did write the USMLE's (Step 1) complained of the vast quantities of useless basic science questions and the lack of clinical scenarios.
    I don't know if all organ based curriculums are like this but it's something I noticed at my school.
     

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