Problem Based Learning vs. Traditional Lectures?

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    Hello all,

    I’m looking into different medical schools currently and would like to hear everyone’s thoughts on how different schools present their material.

    For those of you already in med school — was your school problem/case based or more traditional? Did you like it and why?


    I went thru medical school as they were transitioning to this “new problem/case based” system…and I didn’t like it.

    Maybe because it was “new” and I was more familiar with the “old” lecture system…

    …but I feel that, lecture (straight-up) is better. Case based teaching is like teaching children to read thru “word recognition” rather than phonics…

    …they will *never* be able to see and learn *every* word…but if you give them a way to figure it out…they can tackle any word, in a whole host of languages.

    To get fundamental scientific knowledge in the first 2 years thru basic lectures is appreciated…then as a MS3 and MS4 the case based teaching begins at the bedside. This type of teaching continues thoughout the rest you career as you build on you “basic knowledge” learned in the first 2 years of med school.

    What they *can* do, however, is deemphasize some of the courses that are prerequisites to med school, such as biochem…and micro/histo. Why make us take these courses in undergrad only to reteach them in med school. Those among us who desire a career in path, or biochem research, or whatever, already have that exposure (as required by the admissions committee). If they eliminated all of these “redundant” classes…there would be more time to focus on the ever expanding areas of clinical medicine (in the limited 4 year medical school span).

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