In many medical schools students are exposed solely to classroom- based didactics during the duration of their basic science coursework. After approximatly two years they are then required to apply their knowledge to actual cases.
At International American University College of Medicine, similar to many of the best medical schools in the United States, we take a more progressive approach to medical education. Our students are exposed to a case-based, problem-oriented curriculum ("problem based learning", or PBL), early on in their student life so that their learning that is active (researching, discussing) rather than passive (sitting, memorizing). Our curriculum helps build the student’s confidence in their presentation skills which must be honed over a period of time so that they are ready to present their cases to a panel of medical doctors.
Beginning with the first week of class, students are presented with a specific case and are required to present and discuss this case the following week. With each case comes a plethora of questions compiled by various faculty members. The student group is required to prepare an oral presentation which addresses each of these questions. The knowledge required to effectively “solve” each case will depend topic or chapter covered or discussed during that week. The depth and difficulty of the cases will increase as the students progress towards their final semester. In addition to case studies, students also participate extensively in local clinics.