Clinical Reasoning/Problem Based Learning (PBL) Tutors


The University of Sydney medical program is a problem based course. In all four years students study a series of clinical problems in groups of around 10. In the first two years of the course these are primarily run at the main campus although PBL tutors are needed at the clinical schools in Block 4 (Haematology) and Block 10 (Oncology). These tutorials are highly structured and tutors are provided with a comprehensive tutor guide which outlines how the two facilitated sessions per week will run.

In Stage 3 (years 3 and 4) PBLs are replaced by Clinical Reasoning Sessions (CRS) at the clinical school. Students run the first tutorial session of each clinical problem themselves working through the clinical reasoning process with a real patient to formulate a problem list.

For the second tutorial a clinician facilitator is needed to ensure that the group stays on track but also explores the breadth of learning topics associated with the CRS adequately. This may involve asking questions, encouraging students to clarify ideas and examine new ones, point out inconsistencies and enabling all group members to contribute. To give continuity one tutor is allocated to a group for a block of eight weeks.

Students attend a plenary session led by an expert tutor after every two to three cases.

PBL Tutors in Haematology and Oncology Blocks

Students in Stage 1 & 2 attend the clinical school every day for a five week period during the Haematology and Oncology Blocks. PBL tutors are also required at this time, for 1.5 hours a week.