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Academia and the Profession |

Health, Society, and the Physician: Problem-based Learning of the Social Sciences and Humanities: Eight Years of Experience

Thomas P. Almy, MD; Kathleen K. Colby, MEd; Michael Zubkoff, PhD; Dale S. Gephart, MD; Margaret Moore-West, PhD; and Laurie L. Lundquist, BBA
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant Support: The studies of Dr. Almy were conducted in part at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California, as a Fellow of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Requests for Reprints: Thomas P. Almy, MD, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03755-3862.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Almy, Zubkoff, Gephart, Moore-West, and Ms. Lundquist: Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover NH 03755-3862.

Ms. Colby: 2555 Bent Creek Road, Auburn, AL 36830.


© 1992 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(7):569-574. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-7-569
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▪ We describe a required course for fourth-year medical students focusing on the application of the social sciences and the humanities to critical decisions in the practice of medicine. During 160 hours (70 with faculty contact) in a 7-week period, active, patient-centered, problem-based learning takes place in small collaborating groups, is facilitated by trained tutors, and uses computerized access to library materials plus reference files and resource persons. Major issues identified in the cases are clarified in complementary lectures and symposia. Formative evaluation is ongoing within tutorial groups. Summative evaluation is determined by the individual student's performance in a final complex management problem using a simulated patient. Evaluation of the course, and the basis for its ongoing revision, are provided by participating students and faculty, whose evaluations of the course have been favorable in 80% to 90% of cases.

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