Problem based learning in a junior doctor teaching programme
- Correspondence to:
Dr H M Goodyear
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham B9 5SS, UK;
- Accepted 15 December 2003
Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is used increasingly in undergraduate medical education, but there are few postgraduate medical studies.
Aim: To compare SHO learning outcomes for a PBL course with a traditional didactic course.
Methods: As part of their protected teaching programme, 14 senior house officers (SHOs) were taught about paediatric dermatology using a traditional didactic course. Six months later, the new SHOs received a PBL course including small group teaching and a study guide. Both the traditional and the PBL group were assessed using multiple choice questions (MCQs), an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and pre- and post-course self-assessment sheets. SHOs completed course evaluation sheets.
Results: There was no significant difference in learning outcome between the traditional and PBL courses as assessed by the MCQs, OSCE, and self-assessment sheets. The PBL course was well appreciated by SHOs who liked variety in the teaching programme.
Conclusions: The PBL and traditional course had equivalent learning outcomes. PBL adds variety to junior doctor protected teaching programmes and can be a useful tool for doctors working shift patterns.
- LREC, local research ethics committee
- PBL, problem based learning
- MCQ, multiple choice question
- OSCE, objective structured clinical examination
- SHO, senior house officer
Competing interests: none declared