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An exploration of the use of problem-based learning at allopathic family medicine residency programs in the United States

dc.contributor.authorBenè, Kristen Leigh, author
dc.contributor.authorMost, David, advisor
dc.contributor.authorTimpson, William, advisor
dc.contributor.authorAnderson, Sharon, committee member
dc.contributor.authorBright, Alan, committee member
dc.contributor.authorMarvel, M. Kim, committee member
dc.description.abstractBackground: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a learner-centered approach that allows learners to be self-directed and learn content in the context where it will be applied. Recent research on outcomes shows strong evidence for a positive impact on physician competency. PBL was designed by Barrows to teach students in the preclinical medical school years; however, it is an approach well suited for adult learners, like those at the graduate medical education level. It is not known whether and to what extent PBL is used in graduate medical education in any specialty. This study provides an original contribution to knowledge by describing the use of PBL in graduate medical education specifically focusing on family medicine. Method: Surveys were sent to program directors at 444 allopathic family medicine residency programs in the United States. Results: One hundred seventy five programs (39.4%) responded to the survey. Of those responding, 82.9% used PBL as defined in this study; however only one-third of respondents used the term PBL at their programs. Use of PBL did not vary by program types or program location. Almost all (97.2%) programs used physician faculty to facilitate PBL and over half (56%) trained PBL facilitators with formal faculty development. Over 90% of programs relied on actual patient cases to provide case content for PBL. The majority of program directors felt their implementation of PBL was a success. Conclusions: PBL is widely used at family medicine residency programs and there is great consistency across programs for facilitator training, case creation, and perceptions of success with this method. It is a method that warrants further study based on its broad use.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediumdoctoral dissertations
dc.publisherColorado State University. Libraries
dc.rightsCopyright and other restrictions may apply. User is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. For information about copyright law, please see
dc.subjectmedical education
dc.subjectproblem-based learning
dc.subjectresidency education
dc.subjectteaching methods
dc.titleAn exploration of the use of problem-based learning at allopathic family medicine residency programs in the United States
dcterms.rights.dplaThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights ( You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). State University of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


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