Teaching science throughout the six-year medical curriculum: Two-year experience from the University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia
Objective. The aim of this article is to present the introduction of a mandatory, vertically integrated course in research methodology into medical curriculum. At the School of Medicine in Split (Croatia) we organized this course in 2010, with the total of 270 hours in the 6-year curriculum. In the first year (50 hours) students learned basic principles of scientific method, structure of scientific article, basic statistical concepts, data analysis, interpretation and presentation. In the second year (25 hours) students applied the knowledge from the first year in real examples of research data to answer a research hypothesis and present the results and conclusions. Students were guided through the process of making a hypothesis, analyzing data, interpreting them, constructing tables and figures, and writing a short research report. At the end of the course they formally presented the results to other students and course teachers, using PowerPoint slides. The third year (25 hours) was devoted to mastering concepts and basic skills of evidence based medicine (EBM). The course in the fourth year (25 hours) was integrated with the clinical courses (internal medicine, neurology, and psychiatry) and structured as a “journal club”. In the fifth year (25 hours), the teaching was devoted to developing a research plan for the graduation thesis that the students had to conduct during the sixth year. The sixth year (120 hours) was devoted to the execution of research planned in the fifth year, including data collection, data analysis, interpretation, and thesis writing and defense. Conclusion. The new course succeeded in increasing students’ knowledge and skills for critical thinking and EBM, and prepared them for life-long learning in medicine.
Medical Education; Evidence-Based Medicine; Medical Research; Teaching Methods.
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