Early clinical exposure to enhance the learning of biochemistry in first year M.B.B.S students
Introduction: Biochemistry is taught using teacher centred method i.e lectures where students are passive learners. In first year of M.B.B.S, students don’t feel the importance of biochemistry in clinical practice. As a result, they are not motivated to study this subject. To overcome this, student centred strategies like early clinical exposure via case based learning (CBL) is needed to relate basic sciences subject with clinical scenario and apply concepts of theory to clinical conditions.
Aim and Objectives: 1. To sensitize faculty and students about CBL; 2. To introduce CBL as teaching learning tool in department of biochemistry; 3. To assess perception of faculty and students regarding CBL; 4. To make the students aware of relevance of biochemistry in clinical settings.
Materials and Methods: In this study, a new teaching learning intervention was devised in Biochemistry department of SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar which comprised of ECE program consisting of CBL. Total 133 students of first year M.B.B.S were involved in this study after their consent. All the participants (n=133) were divided into 2 groups; Group A (n= 67) and Group B (n=66). Further each group was divided into 5 sub groups i.e Group A into sub groups A1 (n=14), A2 (n=14), A3 (n=13), A4 (n=13), A5 (n=13) and Group B into B1 (n=14), B2 (n=13), B3 (n=13), B4 (n=13), B5 (n=13). There were 5 facilitators, one for each sub group. All were taught by case based learning method. The outcomes and effectiveness of this intervention was assessed by a MCQs pre-test/ post-test model of cognitive knowledge acquisition used to identify knowledge gain and effectiveness of the educational intervention. Students and faculty attitude towards early clinical exposure via CBL was assessed by 5 point Likert-scale questionnaire survey.
Results: After CBL method, students had improved scores in evaluation test and the difference was statistically highly significant. Majority of students and faculty opined that CBL was useful, arouse interest, helpful in better understanding of clinical biochemistry topic, and link clinical knowledge with basic biochemistry.
Conclusion: ECE is a useful method for a basic science like biochemistry if it is taken up with the traditional teaching method. The present study concluded that CBL improves academic performance of students and motivates the students for self- directed learning by increasing their interest in subject and promotes meaningful learning, student reasoning and communication skills. Majority of faculty and students were satisfied with the introduction of this teaching learning tool. 100% faculty and 98% students felt that biochemistry was relevant in clinical setting. So, CBL should be used as a regular method at appropriate places in curriculum of biochemistry.
Keywords: Early clinical exposure, CBL, Biochemistry, M.B.B.S students.