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PBL

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mayriver, Jun 6, 2001.

  1. mayriver

    mayriver Member
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    For those of you alredy in med school, what do you think of PBL versus traditional lectures. I have heard good and bad - what are your experiences?
     
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  3. mayriver

    mayriver Member
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    just bringing this to the top again - anyone have anyhting to say about this?
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    The difficulty in answering your question is that none of us have been in medical school using both PBL and traditional didactic lectures. Thus I cannot compare my experience with PBL to a traditional curriculum. At the same time I cannot compare my experience with PBL to that at any other school, so what I'll write is only MY experience at MY school.

    I found PBL: terribly inefficient and ineffective in teaching the basic sciences. The focus on clinical medicine did not leave enough room for detailed, rigorous investigation of the principles of basic science. The process of learning PBL was frustrating and many in the group did no t participate until forced to do so (by the tutor who felt he could not grade them). I cluld have easily taken the cases home and used them for my own framework for studying and done without the biweekly PBL sessions - they were just *very* little help to my understanding of the case.

    PBL was effective and a more interesting way to learn clinical medicine, ethics and sociomedical issues. I found it particualrly useful during 3rd year tutorials.

    Of course, there are benefits to PBL - most of your studying is done on yourt own - so you obviously must be motivated and indepedent learner. You have more free time and can make your own schedule (as opposed to schools which schedules classes from 8 to 5). And in the end, how much basic science did I really need to know? It would have been beneficial on the USMLE Step 1 (where PBL students traditionally do worse but they do better on Step 2; as I did) but I'm not sure it will make a difference during residency. I feel bad and insecure about it though, as my knowledge base isn't as deep as it should be.

    Bear in mind that the above is MY experience and it was based upon a new PBL curriculum with lots of bugs: we didn't get useful lecture notes (if we got them at all), didn't have useful lectures BEFORE we had covered a topic and although the resources were there for learning the materials sometimes I found I learned best when I heard someone lecture about a topic.
     
  5. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
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    We only use PBL to practice presenting to each other, all of the material that we are supposed to actually know for tests comes from lecture. I would personally not want to go to a school where one was supposed to actually learn a significant amount of information from PBL as it is difficult, it's good for getting the big picture though.
     
  6. mayriver

    mayriver Member
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    Thanks Kimberly and CK - I appreciate the info. Though it may not matter because i'm still waitlisted at these schools - i'm trying to decide between all PBL (cornell) curriculum, and a mixed curriculum (baylor). I think i agree that the mixed PBL and lecture is best. Do you all mind saying which schools you went to? I also agree that experiences are specific to the school - No big deal if you want to keep that info to yourselves, just curious. Thanks again!
    :) :p :)
     
  7. A little elf

    A little elf Member
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    Hi all

    I'm just finishing up my third year at a PBL school. At first, I was worried about getting enough info to do well on step one, but if you're the type of person who is self motivated, it'll work out fine. PBL has it's advantages and disadvantages and these depend partly on how you learn. Our PBL model worked well for me because I hate sitting in lecture and would rather read the info on my own. It might not work as well for you if you get alot out of lectures.
     
  8. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    We used a mixed PBL, lecture, lab curriculum for most of the time. The last couple of months of 2nd year was all PBL. The mixed format was nice because it broke things up. The 100% PBL time kind of dragged on, but that could have been because it was the last two months of school. The most ringing endorsement of PBL I've heard has come from the clinical faculty. The doctors I have talked to are unanimous in their praises for PBL. They say that before Pitt started using PBL new 3rd years knew a lot of facts but they were horrible at thinking critically about the patient's unique set of circumstances and discussing cases with residents and attendings. I hope that helps you.
     

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