Transition of the Medical Curriculum from Classical to Integrated: Problem-Based Approach and Australian Way of Keeping Academia in Medicine

Grković, Ivica
February 2005
Croatian Medical Journal;2005, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p16
Academic Journal
The world-wide trend of changing medical curricula from the "old," didactic and discipline based to the "new," integrated, Problem-based Learning (PBL) approach did not bypass Australian shores. It has thoroughly shaken the foundations of dogmatic concepts of medical (particularly pre-clinical) education by posing challenges initially to the basic sciences departments. The "point of no-return" was reached very early when the Faculty Education Unit was established with an initial aim to lead and support the transition. Regarding the new curriculum the emotions among academics varied from quiet skepticism and mild resistance to open confrontation and refusal to participate in the process. Just after we were convinced that spending a lot of our academic time on developing new material for integrated self-directed learning was the worst part, the transition period with double teaching (which stretched our resources to the limits) was even worse. The first generation of "reformed" students graduated last year. In this article I will present unique and original concepts introduced into the PBL based medical course at the University of Melbourne. I will particularly highlight efforts to expose medical students to the real research environment and the "academic way of thinking" in order to create health professionals with an ongoing interest in medical research. I will also (subjectively) reflect on the course and share with you some of my impressions and experiences from the point of view of a pre-clinical academic trying to balance his multi-vocational profession.


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