Journal: BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL Author: D B Ferguson & S C Rutishauser Publication Date: May 1997 Volume Number: 182 Issue: 6 Page Numbers: 387 - 392
Description: In September 1994 the Turner Dental School, University of Manchester, introduced a new curriculum in which the first 2 years were problem-oriented. The 82 dental students share the first year and part of the second with 252 medical students, making this the largest cohort of students in a problem-based learning course in the world. It is one of two or three dental courses of its kind. In addition to the problem-oriented work, the course includes a substantial informatics component involving computer skills. The number of lectures has been reduced to a maximum of four per week in the first year and seven per week in the second. Most of the students' learning is achieved by group work in which they study clinical cases and search out the basic biological background to them. At the same time the students consider the social and psychological implications of the cases and develop their own communication skills. Thus far the course has resulted in students having a much broader but less detailed subject knowledge. Students are able to integrate their knowledge more effectively. In the new kinds of examination developed for the course the dental students achieve marks around 5% lower than their medical colleagues, as in more traditional combined courses. The first year of the course was designed for medical students and may not therefore be optimal for dental students but the second year has more specifically dental components
Support links: A problem-based preclinical course for dental students