Problem Based Learning (PBL) – is it a good option for Medical School Students?

There are several ways through which one can learn. If you are a medical student, you need to be thorough with all the concepts in order to use it in real life. It will help you to avoid complications in the future. But is Problem Based Learning (PBL) a good option for medical students? A lot of medical schools are using Problem Based Learning. Let’s find out why!

What is Problem-Based Learning?

Before understanding whether problem-based learning is effective or not for Medical Students, let’s look at what it is. PBL helps you to learn about new concepts as a part of a problem. In the case of a medical student, a Problem Based Learning approach is when the student is asked to work on a fictional case study. It ensures that you understand the concepts clearly, which can help Medical Students to crack USMLE easily.

The students will be asked to think of a potential outcome and slowly will get to know about new information. This kind of approach can be extremely helpful in classroom settings. Apart from this and watching relevant useful pre-med videos, the PBL approach can be taken when assigning homework to students. It helps them to work independently and give in a lot of personal input on the case.

Different skills that are influenced by PBL in medical students

PBL not only helps you to know more about the concepts but helps medical students grasp a lot of skills. Some of them are:

#1 Teamwork

It is essential as in the future, and medical students will need to work with other doctors on a case. It helps to get in touch with a variety of perspectives and helps you to learn more.

#2 Self-directed and critical learning

Problem Based Learning helps you to work on critical thinking and self-directed learning. This is extremely important as medical students need to go clear USMLE. It is the licensing exam that will allow them to practice. PBL helps these students to not only remember the information but as well as use it in times of need.

#3 Assessing one’s own capability

Problem Based Learning is a practical approach to learning. It allows medical students to understand their shortcomings and work towards improving them. Students can identify their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them in the long run.

How can you use PBL for clearing USMLE?

Problem Based Learning is a great approach if you want to clear your USMLE. Using Problem Based Learning, you can use Qbank to go through all the major concepts. These exams are mostly MCQ and hence you can:

1) Take practice tests on any of your preferred online platform for learning. It will help you to brush up on your concepts.

2) Try to set a fixed time period for the test and be as serious as possible. Only then, will you can do well in the main examination.

3) After assessing your test results, make sure that you see where you need to put in more hours into studying. Start planning and prepare a routine. You should have time periods allotted to different chapters.

4) Also, do not forget to take short breaks; otherwise, there is a chance of burn out. Try to relax during these breaks.

5) Qbank is an excellent idea as you can formulate your own questions for studying. After studying a chapter, you can go over it and come up with different questions that can come from the chapter. It will help you to understand your concepts clearly.

6) You can even seek assistance from a peer or a professor or a tutor in case you want to clear USMLE.

In conclusion

Medical schools are slowly yet steadily incorporating Problem Based Learning in their curriculum. However, it helps future doctors to prepare for real-life situations. It is completely different from the lecture method as it gives a chance for students to interact with teachers. So, if you want to work on your preparation for USMLE, then you should consider taking the PBL approach to prepare. Several professors recommend it in the field of medical science, and a lot of learning platform suggests this learning method.

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