Problem based learning better prepares students for practice
- By: Karen Hebert
Medical graduates who have followed a problem based learning (PBL) course report that they have a different set of skills when they start working than students who have followed a traditional course (Medical Education 2005;39: 394-401).
Katinka Prince and colleagues analysed responses from 1159 graduates from one PBL (239) and four non-PBL (917) medical schools in the Netherlands. (At the time of the study there was only one PBL medical school in the Netherlands.) Graduates answered a questionnaire 18 months after graduating.
“We explored graduates' perceptions of how well their training had prepared them for medical practice, particularly in general competencies. We compared the opinions of graduates from PBL and non-PBL schools, because PBL is supposed to enhance general competencies,” Dr Prince explained.
The PBL graduates rated their quality of training, and in turn, their preparation for practice, significantly more highly than their non-PBL counterparts. Non-PBL graduates (83%) ranked their