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Open Access Research article

Implementation of Integrated Learning Program in neurosciences during first year of traditional medical course: Perception of students and faculty

Sarmishtha Ghosh13* and Himanshu V Pandya2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India

2 Department of Medicine, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India

3 Current address: Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA College, Jalan University Campus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Medical Education 2008, 8:44  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-44

Published: 24 September 2008

Abstract

Background

Our college introduced an integrated learning program (ILP) for first year undergraduates with an aim to develop, implement and evaluate a module for CNS in basic sciences and to assess the feasibility of an ILP in phase I of medical education in a college following traditional medical curriculum.

Methods

The idea of implementing ILP for Central Nervous System (CNS) in phase one was conceived by curriculum development committee drawn from faculty of all phases. After a series of meetings of curriculum development committee, inputs from basic science and clinical departments, a time table was constructed. Various teaching learning methods, themes for integrated didactic lectures, case based learning and clinical exposure were decided. Basic science faculty were made to participate actively in both case based learning and hospital visits along with clinical experts. The completed program was evaluated based on structured questionnaire.

Results

Sixty percent students rated the program good to excellent with reference to appreciation, understanding and application of basic science knowledge in health and disease. Seventy eight percent felt that this program will help them perform better in later days of clinical training. However sixty percent students felt that ILP will not help them perform better at the first professional examination. Seventy two per cent of faculty agreed that this program improved understanding and application of basic science knowledge of students. Ninety percent of faculty felt that this program will help them perform better in later days of clinical training.

Conclusion

The adoption of present integrated module for CNS and the use of multiple teaching learning methods have been proven to be useful in acquisition of knowledge from the student satisfaction point of view. Students and faculty expressed an overall satisfaction towards ILP for CNS. The study showed that it is possible to adopt an integrated learning module in the first year of medical course under a conventional curriculum.