Case-based teaching in preventive medicine: rationale, development, and implementation

Am J Prev Med. 2003 May;24(4 Suppl):85-9. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(03)00028-x.


The importance of prevention teaching is increasingly recognized in medical education, but its implementation in medical school curricula is hampered by its cross-specialty nature, lack of curricular time, and perception as a topic of less importance than the traditional basic and clinical sciences. The Case-Based Series in Population-Oriented Prevention (C-POP) was developed to address national objectives for prevention education in a format that recognizes the students' abilities and preferences for case-based learning. This series uses small-group discussion cases that can be adapted to a variety of settings and instructor capabilities. These cases guide the learners from a specific clinical problem to the broader clinical and population-based prevention issues for the topic. The cases were developed with the use of local health department scenarios and data and have been taught and refined in a number of settings. As part of the curriculum development project, evaluation tools that examined prevention skills and orientation were developed and tested. With its emphasis on small-group learning, clinical relevance, and adaptability to a variety of learner and instructor needs, the C-POP project effectively integrates prevention concepts into medical education.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • New York
  • Preventive Medicine / education*
  • Problem-Based Learning*
  • Program Development*
  • Program Evaluation*