Problem Based Learning: Are Our Entry Level Medical Students Ready
Objectives: To assess the self-directed learning readiness of entry level medical students in public and private medical colleges of Faisalabad. Study Design: Cross sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: All three Medical colleges of Faisalabad (One public and two private) during March, 2010. Methodology: A questionnaire based on 58 items Guglielmino scale for self-directed learning readiness was distributed to Year I students of Medical Colleges in Faisalabad. The forms contained a demographic data portion at the end. The questionnaires were distributed at the end of regular lecture and completed by students in 30 minutes. Incomplete questionnaires were excluded from the analysis. Data Analysis: Analyzed by using statistical software SPSS version 15. Results: Out of received 307 questionnaires 220 contained complete fields. These included 150(50% of the class) students from Punjab Medical College (PMC), 43 (43% of the class) from University Medical College (UMC) and 27(54% of the class) from Independent Medical College (IMC). The mean score at Guglielmino scale was 203. While there was no statistical difference in the mean scores of the colleges (PMC=205, UMC=208, IMC=196) the score was in Category “Average” for PMC and UMC and “Below Average” for IMC as described in “Guglielmino scale”. There were 16 out of 58 items which showed significant statistical difference among colleges. Conclusion: The self-directed learning readiness of entry level medical students as assessed by Guglielmino scale is shown to be border-line. This factor needs consideration before adoption of the problem based learning. Addition of a component for enhancement of this skill appears to be required in the reformed curriculum of undergraduate medical education for maximizing learning.