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    Hi
    I'm just finishing year 12 and am really struggling to decide where to apply for medical school.

    I've been trying to decide using the types of course but it's really hard to decipher how you're taught from websites and prospectuses. I've been to open days at Leeds and Leicester and like both their courses (which are integrated style). Can anyone recommend any other uni's which teach in a similar way? Also I've lots of people complain about PBL but I don't really understand what it is, could anyone do some mythbusting or is it really an undesirable way to be taught?

    I have 9A*s at GCSE and am predicted 4A*s at A2 so academic requirements shouldn't be a huge problem in terms of choosing where to apply and I'm working on improving work experience and volunteering so am hoping ot have a competitive application.

    Thank you very much for helping me
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    I suppose it's hard because nobody really experiences both PBL and non-PBL. In broad brush-strokes, PBL is 'problem based learning' so your learning is all centred around a particular problem. Then you go off and research it and in doing so you basically learn all the strands as they relate to the problem - so biochemistry, metabolism, anatomy and so on.
    The main criticism of PBL is that you may miss things this way. On the other hand a lot of people find it a really excellent way of learning because it's quite engaging.

    Non-PBL is basically lecture after lecture after lecture after lecture after... you get the picture. You learn stuff in a more structured way, so you cover Biochemistry and then Metabolism and then Anatomy and then Immunology... etc. in blocks. So you don't miss anything. On the other hand you have to have levels of lecture stamina which put you at a par with marathon runners and it's not very engaging so you're sort of on your own re: learning. The idea is to have a firm 'scientific and theoretical' base. All the old fashioned (stick up your bum) places still do non-PBL (although every medical school has to have some elements of PBL, some places make PBL into a tick box hour or two!). So I think that makes it seem appealing because it gets this glow of being traditional and rigorous and whatnot.

    People can add or take stuff away from what I put. That's my (rough!) idea of the differences and myths. It is really badly presented to you before you apply... I also had no idea. I don't think either way is really undesirable, although one may suit you better than another. Sadly it's hard to tell this before you apply so if you like the courses you've looked at, go for those! :P It is a beautiful and great ambition to be able to pick based on the way they educate you, but you've not got much hope of divining this great mystery in sufficient detail to really discriminate between places.
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    thank you!

    this is pretty much the conclusion I had arrived at but I wanted to check that I wasn't being stupid.

    your explanation of PBL seems pretty solid, and a lot less off putting than what I've heard from other people
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    PBL seems to be one of those things that people don't really understand until they do it. I was like that, despite reading up on it, it was completely different to how I imagined it! I actually find it to be a great way of learning (after initially being anti-PBL) because you really get to engage with the information and you can clearly see how all the different disciplines interact within a problem. Some people will be suited to a non-PBL course, but like the above poster said, I think you would need fantastic lecture stamina! Although just because we're PBL doesn't mean we don't have lectures...lectures compliment PBL and vice versa.
 
 
 
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