The main emphasis of problem based learning (PBL) is on small group working, centred – as the name implies – around a ‘problem’ or scenario. These scenarios are hypothetical patient cases.
A typical week
At the start of each timetabled week, your PBL group will be presented with a hypothetical patient scenario. Investigating this problem will require you to explore a range of disciplines – such as applied life sciences, health in society, professionalism and ethics – which reflects the complexity of treating real-life patients. You'll work as a group to identify all the issues and to find out what you need to know to understand the problem fully.
Throughout the week, your anatomy sessions, clinical placements, clinical and communication skills sessions, lectures, workshops, and your own self-directed learning will provide opportunities to deepen your understanding of the issues raised by the PBL case.
Later in the week, your group will meet in a second PBL session, where you will share and discuss what you have discovered and learnt throughout the week, clarify your understanding, and consolidate the key information under the guidance of your clinician tutor.
This integrated approach, centred on PBL, and grounded in a robust scientific understanding, strong clinical knowledge and highly developed clinical reasoning skills, allows you to develop life-long skills that will be crucial to your success as a doctor.