Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Introduction: Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve
problems and reflect on their experiences. At our newly established medical school?s Faculty of Medicine, PBL was introduced
from the beginning of the medical programme with the aim of early introduction of clinical scenarios to foster critical thinking
and group work.
Methods: The students experienced four PBL cases, and each case consisted of two sessions. The students were assessed (by
the facilitator) during each session as part of the formative assessment. At the end of each block, Problem- Based Questions
(PBQs) were used as part of the Modified Essay Question (MEQ) paper. Student performance was analyzed based on (a) mean
performance in PBL sessions during each block (as part of the continuous assessment), (b) PBQ marks (as part of end of block
assessment), (c) student?s feedback (using questionnaire).
Results and Discussion: A comparative study of the performance in PBL sessions versus other formative assessment sessions
showed a relatively better score in the PBL assessment. The End of Block examinations also reflected a better performance by the
students in the PBQs as against the non-PBQ section. The questionnaire based analysis showed that the students favored the PBL
mode of learning. Though they appreciated and enjoyed the sessions, the students felt that lectures are equally or more important
in disseminating basic sciences topics.
Mohamed El-Helaly is an Assistant Prof. of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health at Mansoura College of Medicine, Mansoura Univ.,
Egypt. Currently, he is the Director of the Environmental Health & Occupational Safety at the National Guard Health Affair- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Dr.
El-Helaly worked as occupational health consultant for many local and international companies including Saudi ARAMCO; setting and implementing
occupational health and safety programs for those companies. He has about 13 years experience in teaching Occupational Medicine for medical
and nursing under and postgraduate students. Dr. El-Helaly has published numerous articles both local and international and his research interests
include HCWs OH&S, Agriculture Health, Occupational reproductive health, Occupational Toxicology, Occupational liver disorders and EMF
exposure. He is a active participant and speaker in different local and international conferences in the field of Occupational Health and Safety.
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