Halliday, Amy C.; Devonshire, Ian M.; Greenfield, Susan A. and Dommett, Eleanor J.
Teaching medical students basic neurotransmitter pharmacology using primary research resources.
Advances in Physiology Education, 34(4) pp. 205–212.
Teaching pharmacology to medical students has long been seen as a challenge, and one to which a number of innovative approaches have been taken. In this article, we describe and evaluate the use of primary research articles in teaching second-year medical students both in terms of the information learned and the use of the papers themselves. We designed a seminar where small groups of students worked on different neurotransmitters before contributing information to a plenary session. Student feedback suggested that when the information was largely novel, students learned considerably more. Crucially, this improvement in knowledge was seen even when they had not directly studied a particular transmitter in their work groups, suggesting a shared learning experience. Moreover, the majority of students reported that using primary research papers was easy and useful, with over half stating that they would use them in future study.
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