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1.  Introducing integrated laboratory classes in a PBL curriculum: impact on student’s learning and satisfaction 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:71.
Background
With the introduction of integrated problem-based learning (PBL) program in the medical curriculum, there is a need to create laboratory classes that suit students’ learning needs and the changes introduced to the curriculum. This paper outlines the development and implementation of four integrated laboratory classes (ILCs) at King Saud University College of Medicine. It also examines whether core concepts addressed in these classes were learned and retained and how the students perceived the ILCs.
Methods
ILCs are based on enhancing enquiry-based learning, and encouraging students to work on tasks in small groups (apply and integrate knowledge from biochemistry, pathology and microbiology) and conduct a laboratory procedure (practical part). In two of these ILCs, a pretest comprising 15 multiple-choice questions were administrated at the start of the class and an identical posttest was administrated at the end of these classes. Performance of the students in the Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) at the end of the blocks was also evaluated. Students’ perceptions were evaluated using a questionnaire completed at the end of each class.
Results
A total of 247, 252, 238, and 244 students participated in practical classes covering cerebrospinal fluid infection, small intestine, liver function tests and adrenal gland function, respectively. Students got higher scores in posttests compared to pre-test scores in two classes (12.68 ± 2.03 vs 6.58 ± 3.39 and 13.02 ± 2.03 vs 7.43 ± 2.68, respectively). Paired t-test showed that the difference was significant (P < 0.001) in both tests. The mean scores of students in stations dealing with ILCs at the end of the block examinations were not significantly different from the mean scores for other stations not related to ILCs. The questionnaire indicated that most students expressed positive attitude towards working on tasks and applying knowledge learnt. Students also felt that conducting laboratory procedures and interpreting laboratory findings were valuable to their learning.
Conclusions
Given the increase in the posttest scores (short-term retention) and the satisfactory performance of students at the end of block examinations (long-term retention) together with the students’ satisfaction, the study suggests that the core concepts addressed in these classes were learned and retained.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-71
PMCID: PMC3664609  PMID: 23706014
Medical education; Integrated laboratory classes; Students’ learning; Impact on learning; Laboratory procedures
2.  Congenital tracheoesophageal fistula: A rare and late presentation in adult patient 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2012;7(1):48-50.
Congenital H-type tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) in adults is a rare presentation and can test the diagnostic acumen of a surgeon, endoscopist, and the radiologist. These undetected fistulas may present as chronic lung disease of unknown origin because repeated aspirations can lead to recurrent lung infections and bronchiectasis. Congenital TEFs should be considered in the diagnosis of infants and young adults with recurrent respiratory distress and/or infections. Here, we present the successful management of this rare case in an adult patient.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.91553
PMCID: PMC3277043  PMID: 22347352
Adult; congenital tracheoesophageal fistula; late presentation
3.  Blastomycosis presenting as multiple splenic abscesses: Case report and review of the literature 
A 31-year-old Canadian Aboriginal man from northwestern Ontario presented with left upper quadrant pain and a tender left upper quadrant mass. Evaluation with a computed tomography scan showed multiple lesions within the spleen, a collection between the splenic tip and splenic flexure of the colon, and several small adrenal lesions. Computed tomographic-guided needle biopsy showed necrotizing granulomatous inflammation and multinucleated giant cells. Gomori’s methenamine silver stain showed broad-based budding yeast consistent with Blastomyces dermatitidis. Abdominal symptoms resolved after two months of oral itraconazole. Multiple splenic abscesses are a rare presentation of blastomycosis and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of left upper quadrant abdominal pain in a patient with a history of travel or residence in a region endemic for B dermatitidis.
PMCID: PMC2852283  PMID: 21358886
Abdominal pain; Blastomyces dermatitidis; Fungus; Spleen
4.  A near fatal complication following stenting of thoracic aortic aneurysm 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2011;6(1):38-40.
Tracheobronchial obstruction along with compression of pulmonary vessels is a rare complication after stenting of aortic aneurysm. We present this rare situation in a young patient who underwent stenting of traumatic thoracic aortic aneurysm and developed this near fatal complication and also the conservative management plan which we adopted to manage this case.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.74275
PMCID: PMC3023870  PMID: 21264170
Bronchial obstruction; pulmonary vessel compression; thoracic aortic aneurysm
5.  Immune response after systematic lymph node dissection in lung cancer surgery: changes of interleukin-6 level in serum, pleural lavage fluid, and lung supernatant in a dog model 
Background
Systematic nodal dissection (SND) is regarded as a core component of lung cancer surgery. However, there has been a concern on the increased morbidity associated with SND. This study was performed to investigate whether or not SND induces significant immune response.
Methods
Sixteen dogs were divided into two groups; group 1 (n = 8) underwent thoracotomy only, and group 2 (n = 8) underwent SND after thoracotomy. We compared interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in serum, pleural lavage fluid and lung supernatant at the time of thoracotomy (T0) and at 2 h(T1) after thoracotomy (group 1) or SND (group 2). Severity of inflammation and IL-6 expression in lung tissue were evaluated in a semi-quantitative manner.
Results
The operative results were comparable. IL-6 was not detected in serum in either group. IL-6 in pleural lavage fluid marginally increased from 4.75 ± 3.74 pg/mL at T0 to 19.75 ± 8.67 pg/mL at T1 in group 1 (P = 0.112), and from 7.75 ± 5.35 pg/mL to 17.72 ± 8.58 pg/mL in group 2 (P = 0.068). IL-6 in lung supernatant increased from 0.36 ± 0.14 pg/mL/mg to 1.15 ± 0.17 pg/mL/mg in group 1 (P = 0.003), and from 0.25 ± 0.08 pg/mL/mg to 0.82 ± 0.17 pg/mL/mg in group 2 (P = 0.001). However, the degree of increase in IL-6 in pleural lavage fluid and lung supernatant were not different between two groups (P = 0.421 and P = 0.448). There was no difference in severity of inflammation and IL-6 expression between groups.
Conclusions
SND did not increase IL-6 in pleural lavage fluid and lung supernatant. This result suggests that SND could be routinely performed in lung cancer surgery without increasing the significant inflammatory response.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-11-270
PMCID: PMC3856538  PMID: 24112247
IL-6; Lung cancer; Mediastinal lymph node dissection

Results 1-5 (5)