Problem-Based Learning in Medical Education

Medical educators found that when students studied patients' medical records, class focus shifted from isolated facts to emphasis on meaningful information. For many, it's hard to imagine that some physicians instruct students in classrooms. Doctors are more often viewed as professionals in white coats who poke patients with cold instruments while making ominous sounds. Yet numerous physicians are teachers—just like other educators—and they share many of the same classroom challenges.

In particular, medical educators have been concerned with the notion that teaching is telling and learning is listening, views that have long dominated instruction. For the last two decades, medical schools in the United States and Canada have explored alternative ways of educating future physicians. 

  • Blumberg, P. (2004). Beginning journey toward a culture of learning centered teaching. Journal of Student Centered Learning, 2(1), 68-80.
  • Blumberg, P. & Everett, J. (2005). Achieving a campus consensus on learning-centered teaching: Process and outcomes. To Improve the Academy, 23, 191-210.
  • Blumberg, P. (2008). Developing Learner-centered teaching: A practical guide for faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Useful Periodicals
  • College Teaching published by Heldref Publications
  • The Journal of Student-Centered Learning published by New Forums Press, Inc. P.O. Box 876 Stillwater, OK 74076