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Ren Fail. 2012;34(8):1043-5. doi: 10.3109/0886022X.2012.697443. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Case-based debates: an innovative teaching tool in nephrology education.

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  • 1Division of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Great Neck, NY 11021, USA.


Medical educators have called for new teaching methods and materials that supplement the traditional lecture format, and education in a range of health professions, including medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, is using a game-based approach to teach learners. Here, we describe a novel teaching tool in a case-based debate using the game format. Two teams of first- and second-year nephrology fellows participated in a PowerPoint game-based debate about which tests to order to diagnose transplant-related case. Our pilot study assessed the participant acceptance of case-based debate sessions and rewards system, and participant perceptions of using this approach to teach fellows and residents the importance of each test ordered and its cost-effectiveness in medicine. Each test ordered requires an explanation and has a point value attached to it (based on relevance and cost of positive and negative test results). The team that comes up with the diagnosis with most points wins the game. A faculty member leads a short concluding discussion. Subjective evaluations found these case-based debates to be highly entertaining and thought-provoking and to enhance self-directed learning.

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