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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dsblaha, Apr 7, 2004.
Which do you prefer?
I vote for PBL
i don't think there is any such thing as a 'pure pbl' school, insofar as all 'pbl' schools have a reasonable amount of lecture time. our school is considered a 'pbl' school, but there is more lecture/lab time in total than pbl time. furthermore, one isn't specifically responsible for material covered in pbl for the first year [everything necessary is always in lecture at least] - pbl is an 'integral aspect', according to the party line.
I know Harvard and NW have a pretty straight PBL curriculum (olny 1-2 hours of lecture a day). What other schools do?
Cornell also has a PBL-heavy curriculum.
My opinion: less lecture is better.
According to the SDN posts of current allopathic med students, PBL is a ridiculously inefficient way to learn preclinical science. So I vote for a combination that heavily favors systems-based organization; however, I think that PBL would be awesome for people who have been on the wards for a while (4th year med students and residents).
Combination all the way--screw PBL by itself
ucla - pbl 2-3 hours of lecture a day.
I think I have a pretty good idea about the faults of PBL, but even so I would rather have it because its simply alot more fun and interesting than sitting in lecture all day and it seems that either way you need to sit down and learn most of the material on your own eventually. So, why not get through the classtime the fun way? If anything, I tend to tune out lecturers and just learn from my notes later anyway.
BTW, here is a quote from a PM from a current Cornell student for those concerned about the faults of PBL:
"Bearing in mind that maybe all schools suck as well, but these are the things I wish I knew about Cornell before coming here:
1) PBL sucks and is a colossal waste of time. Yes its more interesting than a lecture, but it is still not a very good way of learning things.
2) MPS our medicine, patients and society class is a waste of time. Its supposed to be teach us to be more personable physicians and while I believe it has a role in the curriculum, it has way too much of a role now. For instance, every thursday, we waste the afternoon away in a doctors office observing the patient doctor interaction. Its been 16 weeks now - 4-6 weeks would be fine, but whats the point of the 20 or so weeks we have to do. Especially since it encroaches on our study time. And dont get me started on the morning sessions. The take away, is at least during the first year, your entire thursday from 8-6 is blown. Which is a lot of fun when you have an exam on monday and another one that friday.
3) We dont learn pharmacology in any codified manner.
4) Microbio isnt treated thoroughly here either. Pharm and micro are two big things on Step 1 of the boards.
5) The testing routine here is a load of crap. You're tested on minutia of research that doesnt really matter (see DW's post) and then because each "quiz" is only 10-15 questions long, if you blow a few questions just by bad luck, you're in serious hot water. And then the triple jump exam is a joke. Its ridiculously easy and doesnt force you comprehensively study the body of information that you've learned through the semester. Because the quizzes are significantly minutae based, you study the little things for the quizzes, and then forget everything and since there is no real final - you dont actually feel as if you've learnt anything at all.
6) For god knows what reason, the administration has pulled review sessions for human structure and function - our embryology, physiology, histology and anatomy course. There is already so much work in this class and the quizzes are given every two weeks that most of the class is behind. So by the time you catch up, there is no way for you to ask questions about what you dont understand, - since the review sessions have been cancelled.
All in all, I just dont think Cornell's curriculum works well for students like me. I would even go so far as to suggest that the traditional medical education where you're forced fed crap which you then memorize is actually a better way of learning medicine. The thing is when you talk to doctors their recall of information is near instantaneous. X means Y. Then they go back and figure out why that is. With us, if you give us X, 10 minutes later we get to Y. Since in medicine you're looking at a lot of different Xs at a given time - I just dont think having to think through each step of the way is the best way."
I think both have their merits. A combination of small group learning, lecture, etc seems to work well. Different people learn in different ways. If PBL is good for you and you like peer and group teaching, go for the PBL schools, if you prefer a traditional or modified traditional approach, that is cool too.
In the end, it won't matter how you learned medicine, rather, how you approached the material.
I do not work well in purely pbl environments and from what I have heard from current med students, I do not think a pbl-emphasized curriculum is for me. I had a history of philosophy class in college that was structured so that each philosopher was researched by a different group of students and those students would teach the class the material. The professor did not lecture at all. The class was very frustrating to me because I felt that I was working tremendously hard but that I was missing out on a lot of interesting info. on each of the philosophers. Our teacher had studied these philosophers his entire life and we didn't get to hear any of his perspectives on any of the philosophers. Most everyone in the class had no prior, real knowledge on any of the philosophers and so the student teaching was not very beneficial to the rest of the students. I am all for active learning, but I would have appreciated at least 1 or 2 days of lecture on each philosopher.
Lecture helps me. I like hearing about a subject from someone who knows a lot about it, or at least a lot more about it than I do. In undergrad, I often did a good portion of tests based from what I remembered from lecture, even if I didn't have time to go over the lecture notes.
I do realize that med school will be different from undergrad and I will probably learn that studying on my own will be more effective than going to certain lectures. I do really hope that I am able to go to a lot of lectures and get a lot out of them.
From what I understand PBL type curriculums still have a decent amount of lecture. It is unrealistic to be expected to learn EVERYTHING on your own. Also medical school PBL usually involves a small group with 2 physicians to lead. This seems like a very effective way to learn from people with real experience.
Fortunately for the person that PMed you - medicine is filled with enough unthinking automotons to make them feel right at home. The problem with pbl is morons like this classmate of mine. Luckily, they aren't as common as I would have surmised.
Suck it, whiner. Should have gone to Columbia if you weren't interested in humanism in medicine.
Hope that Helps
P 'Not Pulling Punches' ShankOut
So, Indianboy, are you a Cornell student as well?
Uhh Habari goes to Cornell if I am not mistaken... so if he is right even though Cornell has a PBL-heavy curriculum, lecture/lab time still outweighs PBL time.
Does the poll result indicate that SDN, and premeds in general just want it all or are too indecisive to pick one or the other.
I think only people that have gone through medical school with all PBL, all Lecture, and Mixed should be able to say what is the best
PBL -- Problem Based LABORATORY
That would be a better system I think. PBL defitinitely has a role in developing clinical decision making skills, etc. However gutting almost all lecture is not smart in my opinion. Actually the virtual curriculum, which Penn, Baylor and some other schools have, is something never really talked about, but it's a great resource because online you can reinforce what you hear in lecture. You really only learn when you can describe well to someone else well what was involved in your curriculum.
I'm also surprised that med students aren't required to take 2-3 classes in statistics...
all schools with 'pbl' curriculums have lecture time - there is not such thing as a 'pure pbl school'. we have markedly less lecture than 'traditional' schools, and yes, we do things in a systems based manner. i think this is an external link, and you can get an idea of our daily schedule from it:
we are always done by 1PM [on thursday we have clinical preceptors in the afternoon], inclusive of gross lab, histo lab, pbl and lecture. there is ~5 hours of lecture in a typical week during our systems based anat/phys/histo/embryo couse [human structure and function]. pbl is for 1.5 hours every monday/wed/friday [many of us are done on wednesday].
i've commented in an allopathic thread that pbl is obviously not the most efficient way to transfer information - neither is lecture for me. but as opposed to lecture, it is more engaging, allows you to think about real clinical scenarios [think about lab values, management options] - and one realizes over time that it actually has real benefit [there are things that come up in my preceptor that i only learned in pbl].
if i went to a school with a 'traditional lecture curric' - i would never show up to anything, i simply do not, and never have done lecture. at least this way i see aspects of medicine from a view other than a textbook.
i couldn't be bothered to convince anyone of its inherent worth - it's up to you. sure it bites to wake up at 8AM 3 times a week for it - i'm not a 100% advocate of it, but i see it's value and place in the curriculum. i would rather have it than not.
god bless you indianboy and habari
sounds like the pm arose from one of our chronic whiners. while i surely acknowledge our curriculum has flaws (like other schools surely do)...dear god, people in this class are such crybabies
to add more flaming at any 2007 whiners reading this:
Get over the review session policy, for the love of all things holy. Even I had reservation over the removal of review sessions initially, but
a)we still have HAD review sessions since, they just have to be woven into normal curriculum hours so everyone can participate. sounds fair enough to me
b) people complain about gunning in our class and obscenely high scores relative to recent years at cornell all the time...extra review sessions just made it worse. sitting there having the profs almost tell you the answers and teaching almost new material to a select group of people doesnt reek of equality.
c) this is probably the only time I will make such a acerbic comment on sdn, but if you really NEEDED those review sessions to "synthetize" the material, you might just be a mindless drone. What is there in the lecture notes/costanzo/falcone's histo manual thats soooo freaking hard to comprehend as to keep you from getting a basic grasp on the material, or are you whining because this is hurting your chances for your precious AOA? Review sessions in medical school amount to nothing more than mental circle jerks in which people ask ******* questions that usually could have easily been answered by simply opening a freaking BRS book and flipping to the appropriate table. If you can't decipher the material in falcone's excellently concise notes, come on man.
Sure, there are days that MPS sux...and there are some days that its actually pretty educational, if you cared to get off your high horse and participate in your preceptor experience, its a prime opportunity for godssakes. You find me a medical school in which every student loves every day of their "doctoring" course, and people are just dying to learn freaking biostats, and I'll show you the land of flying pigs and a one legged man winning an ass kicking contest. Fair trade.
classes 2004-2006=cool as hell
Yup, great idea. We do that here at my school also (for many but not _every_ class), and because it's during normal class time, professors rather than TAs lead them. Plus no one should have any time conflicts this way like you said. For classes that don't have review sessions, you can easily a) consult a textbook, b) email the professor, or c) show up at professor's door. Haven't had any problems with this approach at all.
I like programs that don't have a lot of required time...
Low lecture hours would be good. And some PBL, but not a battery of required PBL sections. I really liked NU's setup.
I'm a pretty independent studier, and unless the lecturer is really good, I can usually learn more efficiently by reading textbooks.