Problem-Based Learning: Contribution to Pediatric Practice

ABSTRACT Introduction Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has been highlighted in medical education because it is a proposal based on constructivism, with the purpose of developing students’ autonomy and critical thinking for decision-making. Objective In view of the difficulties experienced by undergraduate students and the scarce information regarding the contribution of PBL to the clinical practice of pediatric physicians, we aimed to evaluate the contribution of PBL to the training of pediatricians. Methods This is a series of descriptive cases, developed with pediatricians from two public educational institutions. This study used an intentional, non-probabilistic sampling technique, in which the attributes of the participants are defined according to the object of study, aiming to select which individuals are more suitable to be included in the sample, consisting of ten pediatricians, with five graduated from each institution. Pediatricians were selected to answer the questionnaire. Data collection was performed by the main researcher, through three semi-structured questions answered via e-mail. The interviewees’ answers to the open questions were analyzed using the method of reflection-synthesis analysis, which presupposes content analysis and synthesis mediated by sensitivity and reason. Results The results indicated that 28% of the pediatricians had a Board Certification degree, and 72% did not, between the years 2003 and 2012. The participants’ discourses allowed us to identify that the PBL contributed to the training and performance of pediatricians in different aspects, providing the search for knowledge; ability to work as a team; and capacity to conduct clinical management in an interdisciplinary and holistic way. However, the discourses also demonstrated that this method might not favor the developing of the basic subjects. Conclusion The PBL contributed to the training and performance of the pediatrician, but it might not have favored the developing of the basic subjects.