Faculty Development: University of Leipzig
In 2005 Munich Medical International signed a long term cooperation agreement with the University of Leipzig regarding the implementation and support of an innovative curriculum concept, consulting services and further education concepts.
The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Leipzig is one of the oldest medical faculties in Germany. The university hospitals and clinics as well as the buildings of the Faculty of Medicine are located on the medical campus at the Liebigstraße. Off-campus Medical Faculty institutions are the Heart Centre, the Biotechnological and Biomedical Center, the Department of Orthopedics, Gynecology, Pediatrics, and other departments at the Haertelstraße. The Medical Faculty is inseparably associated with the university hospitals. More than 44.500 patients per year are admitted to the 28 hospitals (capacity of 1.474 beds), which are supported by 18 affiliated institutions and 5 independent divisions. At the clinics and short-stay units, more than 260.000 outpatients and 220.000 inpatients are treated annually. Together with the university hospitals the Faculty of Medicine has over 3.800 employees and provides teaching to 2.800 medical students and students of dentistry.
The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Leipzig initiated PBL - problem-based learning courses in the summer semester of 2004.
In Problem-based learning (PBL) classes students are working in small groups under the guidance of a facilitator (tutor), trying to solve a medical case. Focusing on realistic medical problems, students work out the major clinical findings, pathogenesis, as well as the diagnostic and therapeutical strategies of the presented conditions and diseases.
The main concepts of integrating PBL in the Curriculum of the Medical Faculty in Leipzig are based on the successful ?Munich Model? which has been developed in a cooperation with Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich and Harvard Medical School.
In accordance with the requirements and opportunities of the Leipzig Faculty the PBL program takes place in close cooperation with the Munich Medical International GmbH.
We expect that Problem-based learning as a practice-oriented teaching strategy will become a new characteristic of the special Leipzig culture of teaching and learning at the university.
The most important element of PBL is the tutorial which takes place 4 days a week over a period of 4 weeks. In addition, preparatory or recapitulatory lectures related to the topic of the current case are held daily. Moreover, classes teaching practical and special skills (E-learning, medical English, data base enquiry, imaging diagnostic) are integrated in the PBL curriculum. All classes are taught in small groups of 8-9 students under the guidance of a trained teacher (tutor).
During a tutorial the students work out their learning objectives by solving ?paper cases?. These paper cases are based on real patient case reports prepared by the PBL team. Students are provided with information of the case piece by piece. Each page of the case is read aloud by one of the students. During the course of the tutorial, an in-class discussion about possible pathophysiological patterns and differential diagnosis takes place. The tutor is guiding the discussion keeping the major learning objectives in mind, but trying to interfere as least as possible.
Answers to open problems and questions raised during the tutorial will be prepared by the students in private studies after the tutorial and presented and discussed in the folllowing tutorial. At the end of the PBL course students have to pass an examination divided into three parts (written, self-study, and oral) (Triple Jump).
The principle role of the teacher in PBL is that of a facilitator or educational coach ("tutor") guiding the learners in the PBL process. As learners become more proficient in the PBL learning process the tutor becomes less active. This is a new skill for many teachers and specific training is required. The training of new facilitators for the Leipzig PBL program takes place in Leipzig and is organised and carried out in close collaboration with Munich Medical International GmbH.
The first training of 42 tutors took place in March 2004, the second in September 2004 and a third training was carried out in March 2005. So far 122 tutors have been trained at the Leipzig Faculty. A fourth training session is scheduled for March 2006.
A great number of skilled and qualified tutors provide the basis for teaching more than 300 students in one academic year. The integration of the interdisciplinary PBL program in the curriculum requires the support and cooperation of the Medical Faculty and the various institutions of the University Hospital Leipzig.
Benefit for the patient
This new way of medical education at the University of Leipzig also offers great benefits for the patient. The young physicians in Leipzig will already have acquired ample practical experience in how to take a patient?s history, how to operate efficiently in a team on the ward, and how to deal with conflicts.
Therefore, the major aim of PBL is to prepare young physicians for their medical career in our modern times of cost pressure, rising working hours, and restrictions by the DRG-system.
In the following (German) article ?Die Medizinische Fakultät der Universität Leipzig setzt auf Innovation in der Lehre? you can read more about the integration of POL-Courses at the Medical Faculty at the University of Leipzig:
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