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Problem-based learning in primary care at University of Ribeirão Preto (UNAERP) in Brazil

Authors Romão GS, Bestetti RB, Couto LB

Received 15 November 2017

Accepted for publication 28 November 2017

Published 3 January 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 27—30

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S157071

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder


Gustavo Salata Romão, Reinaldo Bulgarelli Bestetti, Lucélio Bernardes Couto

Department of Medicine, University of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

We read with great interest the excellent paper by Pruitt et al1 who presented a problembased learning (PBL) approach to system-based practice medical education. Because a PBL medical teaching approach in primary care is rare, we would like to report our experience on this strategy as well. We have been using the PBL method in our medical course before the clerkship since 2003. In view of the fact that pre-university education is deficient and totally lecture-based,2 we have had to make some changes to adapt PBL to our educational reality, mainly testing application (multiple-choice questions) before, and some lectures following, the reporting phase of tutorial sessions.3,4 However, we had not used PBL in primary care until 2016. In Brazil, the Unified Health System provides universal health coverage for more than 170,000,000 people in a public decentralized and hierarchical network of primary, secondary, and tertiary health care services. A key part of this increasing access to health care is the Family Health Program (FHP). Unfortunately, the system is underfunded, and the health professionals are not sufficiently prepared to work in such a complex health system. Because of this, we have been implementing system-based practice in our medical course in a PBL environment since 2016.
Authors’ reply
Zachary Pruitt,1 Rahul Mhaskar,2 Bryan G Kane,3 Robert D Barraco,4 Deborah J DeWaay,2 Alex M Rosenau,3 Kristin A Bresnan,5 Marna Rayl Greenberg3

1Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL,  3Department of Emergency Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Lehigh Valley Campus,  Allentown, PA, 4Department of Surgery, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Lehigh Valley Campus,  Allentown, PA, 5Department of Family Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Lehigh Valley Campus, Allentown, PA, USA 

We are grateful to Romão et al for their comments about our recently published manuscript outlining the development of the health systems curriculum.1 We read with interest that Romão et al have recently implemented problem-based learning (PBL) strategy in primary care clerkship (PCC).

View the original paper by Pruitt and colleagues.

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