Active Learning Methods (Tucson)

The M.D. Program curriculum incorporates several advanced models for adult education, including interactive lectures, case-based instruction and team learning.

Case-Based Instruction (CBI)

Case-Based Instruction is a problem-based instructional method in which small groups of students are presented with a clinical case to study, discuss, and “solve.” This method provides students with opportunities to work on realistic cases in a self-directed manner, identify and fill gaps in their knowledge, discuss their interpretations of the case with other students, and develop and improve their medical problem-solving skills.

The purpose of CBI is not to teach medical knowledge but rather to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they are learning elsewhere in the curriculum by integrating basic science concepts with a structured, reflective approach to medical problem-solving. The CBI curriculum integrates innovative online tools in the first two years that call on students to reflect on the case and process before, during and after each case.

Evidence-Based Decision Making

The ability to identify, analyze and synthesize valid information from medical literature is critical to successful practice as a physician. Students at the College of Medicine – Tucson receive instruction from Arizona Health Science librarians in how to conduct a literature search, and how to compare and evaluate the information they identify. Students find and access relevant information in the literature in order to develop management plans for the hospitalized patients with whom they are learning their interview and physical exam skills.

Team-Based Learning (TL)

Team-based Learning is a carefully structured learning method in which a large group (50 students) is divided into smaller teams which work together to come up with answers posed by a thought-provoking clinical problem. It requires advanced preparation by students and a skilled and knowledgeable faculty facilitator.

TL sessions are held weekly throughout Years I and II.  Students independently prepare for these sessions outside of class.  During the TL session, students teach each other and work to achieve consensus in developing and defending a group answer to questions regarding the case or topic of the session.