Background: In 1996, the University of Liverpool reformed its medical course from a traditional lecture-based programme to an integrated, community based PBL curriculum based on the recommendations in Tomorrow's Doctors (General Medical Council, 1993).
Aim: A project has been underway since 2000 to evaluate this change.
Methods: This article will summarize questionnaires which were distributed to the final two cohorts to graduate from the traditional curriculum with the first two cohorts to graduate from the reformed curriculum 6 years after graduation. The questionnaires asked the graduates about their preparation for the key skills required to work as doctors.
Results: There were significant differences between reformed and traditional curriculum graduates on nearly all the questionnaire variables. Reformed curriculum graduates felt significantly better prepared for undertaking practical procedures, working in a team, understanding evidence-based medicine. The traditional graduates felt better prepared in variables relating to basic sciences such as understanding disease processes.
Conclusion: Reforming the curriculum can change the way graduates from the same medical school view their undergraduate education.