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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 77-86

Case Design to Emphasize Population Health Concepts in Problem-based Learning

1 Coordinator, Public Health Practice, Yale University School of Medicine, USA
2 Director of Teaching and Learning Center, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kim-Thu Pham
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, PO Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520-8034
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Medical training traditionally focuses on disease diagnosis and management. The need to incorporate preventive medicine, economics, and health promotion is increasingly apparent. Because problem-based learning (PBL) encourages multidisciplinary thinking, it is ideal for linking traditional medical education and population-oriented training. Although use of PBL has grown in medical education, cases typically focus upon patho-physiology, diagnosis, and therapy of individuals. Even when cases are intended to integrate multidisciplinary topics such as behavioral sciences or prevention, the biological aspects are emphasized. Purpose: To describe approaches to case design that emphasize population perspectives of health. Description: Specific examples drawn from actual cases we have used illustrate how five basic components of a case— namely, title, context, intrigue, indicators of problem resolution, and tight structure— facilitate discussion of, and enhance concern for, population issues. Conclusion: The literature indicates that health professional students tend to favor biological over population content in clinical cases. We illustrate how population content can be represented in speci. cally designed cases.

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