Problem-Based Learning and Medical Education Forty Years On
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Problem-based learning (PBL) has swept the world of medical education since its introduction 40 years ago, leaving a trail of unanswered or partially answered questions about its benefits. The literature is replete with systematic reviews and meta-analyses, all of which have identified some common themes; however, heterogeneity in the definition of a 'problem-based learning curriculum' and its delivery, coupled with different outcome measurements, has produced divergent opinions. Proponents and detractors continue to dispute the merits of the cognitive foundation of a PBL approach, but, despite this, there is evidence that graduates of PBL curricula demonstrate equivalent or superior professional competencies compared with graduates of more traditional curricula.
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