2016 Volume 238 Issue 1 Pages 65-74
Problem-based learning (PBL) is popular in medical education in Japan. We wished to understand the influence of PBL on the clinical competence of medical residents, using self-assessment and observer assessment. Tokyo Women’s Medical University (TWMU) implemented PBL longitudinally (long-time) for four years, and on this basis we analyzed whether long-time PBL education is useful for clinical work. A self-assessment questionnaire was sent to junior and senior residents who were alumni of several schools, and an observation-based assessment questionnaire to senior doctors instructing them. Respondents were asked if they had used the PBL process in daily clinical tasks, and if so in what processes. Senior doctors were asked whether TWMU graduates perform differently from graduates of other schools. TWMU graduates answered “used a lot” and “used a little” with regard to PBL at significantly higher rates than other graduates. As useful points of PBL, they mentioned extracting clinical problems, solving clinical problems, self-directed leaning, positive attitude, collaboration with others, presentation, doctor-patient relations, self-assessment, and share the knowledge with doctors at lower levels and students. Observer assessments of TWMU graduates by senior doctors represented them as adaptive, good at presenting, good at listening to others’ opinions, practical, selfish, and eager in their instructional practice. Longitudinal PBL can be a good educational method to develop lifelong-learning habits and clinical competencies especially in terms of the social aspect.