Introduction of case-based learning to teach Pharmacology to second year MBBS students

Megha Sood, Kulbir Kaur, Rajiv Arora


Background: Our medical education system has various limitations. In the initial few years of medical education, the focus is more on teaching the theoretical aspect of various subjects and not to apply the knowledge gained to practice. It is important to stimulate a student’s analytic thinking and provide them with an opportunity to see theory in practice. In case-based learning (CBL) a case acts as a stimulant of learning. The aim of the study was to introduce CBL in Pharmacology to teach second year MBBS students and see its effect on their performance. The study also aimed to get student and faculty (Department of Pharmacology) feedback on this teaching model.

Methods: A total 180 students of second prof. MBBS and faculty of Department of Pharmacology were included in the study. A total of two topics were taken for CBL sessions. The theory lecture of the first topic was conducted. The students were divided into smaller groups of 15 each and a pretest was taken. This was followed by CBL session and after that post-test was administered. The second topic was covered on similar format. At the end of the two sessions the student and faculty feedback were taken on a five-point Likert scale.

Results: A total 127 students participated in the study. 90% of the students agreed or strongly agreed that CBL had been useful in understanding the topics and it will be useful for foundation of their clinical years. All faculty members agreed that CBL does improve student teacher interaction but they found CBL to be time consuming.

Conclusions: CBL was well accepted by the students and they want that other topics should be taken up by this method. The faculty also believes that it is worth giving a try but at the same time CBL is time consuming and it may be possible to conduct it for only a few topics in a session.


Case based learning, Medical education, Pharmacology

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