Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine

How to Apply Problem-Based Learning in Medical Education? A Critical Review

Said Said Elshama

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Problem-based learning (PBL) is a cornerstone of modern medical education. Principles of PBL are the construction of knowledge, prior knowledge activation, organization of knowledge, elaboration of knowledge, stepwise transfer across contexts and cooperation with other learners. It provides the ability to identify the knowledge, generate and analyze hypotheses that lead to the differential diagnosis of the case according to the complaint of the patient by using history taking, physical exam, and investigations. Application of any innovation such as PBL faces many challenges and obstacles that are related to the students, tutors, learning environment and other stakeholders. We can overcome these obstacles by more training sessions for tutors and students. In addition, the construction of PBL curriculum should be based on a community-oriented approach because it depends on the priorization of common health problems in the surrounding community.


Problem-Based Learning; Obstacles; Challenges; Medical Education


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