Paradigm shifts in medical education: a constructivist view of problem-based learning

The need for changes in teaching and curricular policy in medical schools has been widely discussed, particularly in response to on-going reflection on the expected profile of medical school graduates. It has been acknowledged that traditional medical training, focused primarily on the transmission of knowledge, has produced graduates that are unprepared to respond to the population's most common health problems. In an attempt to change this situation in Brazil, active teaching-learning methodologies have been prioritized, based on the National Curricular Guidelines for Undergraduate Medical Education issued by the Ministry of Education. Such methodologies feature problem-based learning (PBL), which allows greater student participation in knowledge-building. This approach is developed by sending undergraduates into the community in their early years of medical school, thereby fostering the framing of theoretical constructs acquired through individual searches and knowledge-sharing. Thus, a partnership is created between institutions of higher learning, health services, and the community, the aim of which is to train physicians with a comprehensive view of human beings and a strong commitment to society.

Problem-Based Learning; Medical Education; Methodology

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