Commentary: IDSA guidelines for improving the teaching of preclinical medical microbiology and infectious diseases

Frederick Southwick, Peter Katona, Carol Kauffman, Sara Monroe, Liise-anne Pirofski, Carlos Del Rio, Harry Gallis, William Dismukes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Preclinical microbiology and infectious diseases courses too often primarily depend on PowerPoint lectures and notes, combined with multiple-choice tests, as their primary teaching tools. This strategy sets low expectations for students, encouraging short-term memory and discouraging understanding and long-term memory. These methods also fail to stimulate active participation, collaborative learning, and two-way communication with the professor, and they do not respect the students' diverse talents and ways of learning. The Infectious Diseases Society of America Preclinical Curriculum Committee proposes a new approach that emphasizes active learning and understanding and that addresses all of these failures. It consists of five components: (1) "Just-in-time" teaching that requires students to e-mail the answers to two general questions as well as any areas of misunderstanding to the instructor several hours before each lecture, (2) peer instruction or large-group sessions consisting of student teams of four who electronically answer a conceptual question before each major section of the lecture, (3) teaching from edited textbooks and Internet sources, (4) small-group discussions that emphasize pathogenesis and differential diagnosis, and (5) essay questions that encourage and test understanding in addition to recognition. A national consensus on factual content is proposed, with the goals of reducing information overload and minimizing requirements for excessive memorization. These strategies promise to enhance learning and rekindle interest in the field of infectious diseases. Other subspecialty organizations should create similar teaching guidelines that will encourage future medical students to bring a richer understanding of clinical and basic science to the bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

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Microbiology
contagious disease
Communicable Diseases
Teaching
Guidelines
Students
Learning
learning
student
Problem-Based Learning
Aptitude
Long-Term Memory
Textbooks
Postal Service
e-mail
Medical Students
Short-Term Memory
Internet
Curriculum
group discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Commentary : IDSA guidelines for improving the teaching of preclinical medical microbiology and infectious diseases. / Southwick, Frederick; Katona, Peter; Kauffman, Carol; Monroe, Sara; Pirofski, Liise-anne; Del Rio, Carlos; Gallis, Harry; Dismukes, William.

In: Academic Medicine, Vol. 85, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 19-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Southwick, Frederick ; Katona, Peter ; Kauffman, Carol ; Monroe, Sara ; Pirofski, Liise-anne ; Del Rio, Carlos ; Gallis, Harry ; Dismukes, William. / Commentary : IDSA guidelines for improving the teaching of preclinical medical microbiology and infectious diseases. In: Academic Medicine. 2010 ; Vol. 85, No. 1. pp. 19-22.
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