Digital Problem-Based Learning: An Innovative and Efficient Method of Teaching Medicine

Khaylen Mistry, Natasha Casie Chetty, Puran Gurung, Nicholas Levell

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Abstract

Background:
The breadth of knowledge assimilated by undergraduates is substantial. Time must be utilised to impart knowledge and skills to ensure optimal training. Dermatology comprises a large portion of work in primary care; yet UK undergraduate dermatology training is short. Digital problem-based learning (PBL) is an innovative teaching method incorporating clinical images into intense, interactive teaching sessions.
Aim:
To determine the efficacy of digital PBL sessions in teaching UK medical students during their dermatology module.
Methods:
In total, 59 second-year medical students at Norwich Medical School during their dermatology secondary care attachment completed two 2.5-h digital PBL sessions. One session was focused on lesions and the second on inflammatory diseases. During each session, students assessed 60 clinical cases each comprising an image with a brief history. In small groups, students discussed the cases, described the images, and agreed a diagnosis followed by a group discussion with the supervising clinician who provided feedback. Following each session, students completed a feedback questionnaire.
Results:
In total, 117 sets of feedback were received; 60% of students considered they learnt a great amount in a short time. The majority of students reported feeling more confident to make a dermatological diagnosis and more motivated in clinics as a result of the digital PBL; 64% of students found digital PBL more useful than real patient clinics. The most frequent negative comment was that 2.5 h was too long to concentrate.
Conclusions:
Digital PBL was a popular, effective, and efficient teaching method. Digital PBL sessions should be introduced alongside clinics and other teaching methods for undergraduates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalJournal of Medical Education and Curricular Development
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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