Navigating pediatric undergraduate medical education: Curriculum mapping of problem-based learning and case-based learning in the pediatric curriculum


  • Devika Singh Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Nina Mazze McMaster University, McMaster Children’s Hospital
  • Vicky Breakey McMaster University, McMaster Children’s Hospital


Pediatrics, Medical Education, Aquifer, PBL, McMaster


Background:The pre-clerkship curriculum at McMaster University uses problem-based learning (PBL) as the main teaching method and includes patients of all ages. However, informal data collected through surveys sent to McMaster medical students demonstrated that our students do not feel adequately prepared for their pediatric clerkship rotation. The purpose of this study was to map the McMaster pediatric pre-clerkship PBL curriculum and online Aquifer cases to the National Canuc-Paeds clinical presentations ( to determine the comprehensiveness of our current pediatrics curriculum.

Methods: All 150 undergraduate problem-based learning cases were reviewed for pediatric content. In addition, the 32 pediatric Aquifer cases were reviewed to determine which CanucPaeds clinical presentations are addressed.

Results: 36/150 PBL cases included pediatric content, in which 15/29 of the required clinical presentations were covered and many were addressed more than once. The majority of the objectives (25/29) were covered by at least one Aquifer case, while four objectives were not addressed by any case.

Conclusion: Mapping pre-clerkship PBL cases and Aquifer cases to the Canuc-Paeds curriculum provides valuable insight into the pediatrics content in the pre-clerkship and clerkship curriculum and demonstrates areas where additional training is required. A similar methodology can also be used in other programs to evaluate their curriculum.






Original Research Article