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Case-based Learning in the Module Family Medicine

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2019.0224-0229

german translation / full article

Kambiz Afshar, Bettina Engel, Tina Hellmuth, Nils Schneider, Jutta Bleidorn

Keywords: case-based learning educational research family medicine medical education small group instruction

Background: Case-based learning (CBL) was integrated as a new teaching and learning format in the module family medicine in the third year of the basic medical educational model programme “HannibaL” at the Hannover Medical School. For the first time, it was tested in the academic year 2016/17. The aim of this study was to outline the process of its conception and implementation and to evaluate the new format by medical students and lecturers.Methods: Four CBL-units (1 unit = 90 min) were designed based on common and exemplary ailments leading to consultation in family practice. In groups of eight to twelve students independently processed different cases on the basis of guiding questions. Overall goals were to generate working diagnoses, to elaborate primary care provision by family physicians and to reasonably plan diagnostic measures among others. The evaluation was performed in two stages: 1. an anonymous written evaluation by students answer- ing seven questions and the opportunity for free text answers, 2. feedback discussions with the lectures after every single CBL-unit in the academy year 2016/17. Results: 183 out of 251 medical students (in 2016/17) participated in the evaluation of the CBL-units. The majority of medical students agreed that the CBL-units established a relationship to primary care provided by family physicians and were built on their prior knowledge. The selected issues were considered to be practically relevant and the time of the individual units well-structured. Lecturers (24) regarded especially the teaching and learning atmosphere, the cooperation and the prior knowledge of the students as positive. However, the chronological structure and the expected restraint in the small group work was felt as challenging.Conclusions: CBL is an adequate teaching and learning format for both medical students and lecturers in order to convey primary care provision by family physicians in a practical and structured way in basic medical education.


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