Our School made a bold decision at its inception to depart from traditional pedagogy and embrace best practices in educational innovation. We embraced Problem-based learning (PBL) which is perhaps the most significant educational innovation in the last century. Problem-based learning puts the student at the centre of his/her learning and allows them to acquire knowledge through their interaction with complex and professionally relevant problems that are carefully crafted to cover a set of learning objectives.
This approach to teaching and learning may be the antidote to the unhealthy spoon-feeding relationship that characterise faculty-student interactions in our educational sector today. Unlike the traditional system which sometimes produce graduates with inert knowledge, research shows that PBL graduates are analytical, collaborative and able to apply their knowledge in different real life situations.Our school has practiced PBL for close to a decade now, and the result shows for itself. Feedback from professionals who work with our graduates attests to their professionalism, in-depth knowledge of medical sciences and critical thinking abilities. These refreshing testimonies are indicative of the positive impact our graduates are making in the health sector. The implementation of PBL in our school has not been smooth, but the obstacles we have had to surmount were themselves PBLs to us. Faculty at the PBL Unit of UCCSMS have built expertise in PBL over the years through workshops and conferences, but our most valuable lessons have been learnt through dealing with the various implementation challenges we faced. The PBL Unit has now built enough capacity to train other institutions in Ghana and beyond and help them establish their PBL curricula.
Our Unit will soon run PBL Harmattan Courses for an international audience. As we celebrate successes in Medical Education, the responsibilities associated with our position as vanguards of PBL and innovation in Medical Education in the Sub-Region is never lost on us. We live up to this expectation in several ways. As vanguards, the expertise of the PBL Unit is assessable to interested organizations and the general public through consultancy engagements. Apart from training activities, our unit maintains a strong research interest with the focus of making PBL effective and efficient even in resource-poor settings.