Integrating Case Topics in Medical School Curriculum to Enhance Multiple Skill Learning: Using Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders as an Exemplary Case

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
Academic Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 0.81). 04/2009; 33(2):143-8. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.33.2.143
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article describes the use of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) as a theme to connect the learning of basic neurosciences with clinical applications across the age span within a systems-based, integrated curricular structure that emphasizes problem-based learning.
In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the Western Regional Training Center for Fetal Alcohol Exposure at UCLA developed and integrated educational materials on FASDs into the curriculum for first-year medical students.
Quantitative and qualitative evaluations suggested materials were effective in enhancing student knowledge and skills related to FASDs, as well as embryology, brain development, substance abuse, developmental psychopathology, and medical ethics.
The use of a unifying theme integrating basic science and clinical information and skills is effective for medical student training in the prevention and treatment of common medical problems.

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