Chest pain and acute coronary syndrome interactive teaching case: assessment of methodology and achievement of course objectives
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BACKGROUND: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogy commonly used in medical education which utilizes small discussion groups led by a facilitator to learn by discussing a problem or case study. Some research suggests that relative to conventional teaching, PBL is more effective in knowledge acquisition and retention due to its emphasis on contextualization and linking concepts, rather than memorization of facts. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to compare PBL to lecture-based learning (LBL) module in pre-clinical PA and medical students. METHODS: This is a quasi-experimental crossover interventional study to be conducted with a 1st year PA class and a 2nd year medical school class from Boston University. The students will be assigned to either a control group who will take a LBL module or the interventional group who will take a PBL module. After completing the module the groups will crossover to take the opposing treatment and will be reassessed. The students will take a test at the start of the study, 1 week later before taking either the intervention or control treatment, another 1 week later prior to the cross treatment and a final test 1 week later. Each test will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions with a corresponding Likert scale question assessing the student level of confidence in their answer choice. RESULTS: The mean score, standard deviation, confidence interval and variance will be calculated for each test with the medical student and PA student scores combined. The level of knowledge acquisition will be separated between each group and by whether the student is a PA or medical student. The confidence values will be analyzed to determine if there is a relationship with knowledge acquisition in either of the treatments. DISCUSSION: This study will provide evidence as to whether PBL is superior to LBL in teaching ACS and chest pain to PA and medical students.