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What is PBL?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BlackPuma, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. I've heard of it like ten times, know what is stands for, but don't really know what it actually is??!? problem based learning, is this kind of group activity or what? and why the heck is it regarded as so "innovative?"
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  3. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    As far as I can tell, it means you learn by examining cases. So, instead of giving a lecture about the kidneys, they might present a patient (real or hypothetical) with some kind of kidney problem, and it was up to you to diagnose it.

    It supposedly makes the learning more 'real' to students, and makes it seem more relavent. I think it's generally a good idea, though I do wonder about it's impact on the USMLE's... If you are doing all this PBL, aren't you neglecting the kind of things you need to know for the USMLE's? Perhaps I'm looking too far down the road.

    Hope that helps.
  4. aha so that is what it is....oh we have those cases in my undergrad neuro classes....yah they really help alot because their real life applications...

    well glad to hear that ....

    thanks for the info :D
  5. warpath

    warpath Officer Cadet 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2001
  6. KyGrlDr2B

    KyGrlDr2B 7+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    University of Kentucky has been doing PBL for about 10 years. They have done good on boards the whole time and the students really favor it. They said they've gotten a really positive response with it.
  7. styphon

    styphon Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    New york
    As I understand Cornell Medschool also uses the PBL technique.
  8. HardlyDavidson

    HardlyDavidson Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    Peanut Butter and Lelly
  9. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    We have a curriculum that integrates PBL with lecture-style stuff too. I think its fun. We do about a case a week, and everyone is responsible for learning independently. THere are ~8 students to each facilitator, so the times when we meet as a group, everyone can talk.

    A case might go something like this (I cant give a "real" example, our cases are sequestered)

    Day 1:

    A 38 year old man come into the emergency room complaining of shortness of breath and chest pain.

    We then have to make up a problem list, a differential diagnosis list, a "tests you want to order" list, and a learning issues list.

    for this it could be:

    ddx: MI, angina, asthma, pneumonia, traumatic injury (pneumothorax, hemothorax, fractures), PE, pleurisy...(etc you get the idea)

    problem list: chest pain, dyspnea

    tests to order: CBC, Chest XR, (history and physical - this is every case, of course!)

    learning issues: what do the CBC values mean? how do you read a chest XR?

    Then you get more information - maybe this guy has a history of asthma, or perhaps he weighs 500 pounds and has cholerstrol of 800. you may get lab values, stuff like that. Once you figure out what it IS, then you have to get into how to treat it - why is there pain, why does he feel short of breath, what drugs, mechanisms of the drugs. Learning issues also expand - not just why cholesterol is bad (for example) but also, why is it there? Learning stuff about Chylomicrons and HDL and LDL...lipid metabolism. interesting stuff.

    HOpe this helps :)

  10. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Great example Starflyr!
    We just finished our Cardiovascular block and have our final on Saturday, so the particular case you mentioned resonates well... :D

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