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Training Australian general practitioners in rural public health: Impact, desirability and adaptability of hybrid problem-based learning

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Gladman, Justin; Perkins, David
  • Journal Name: The Health Education Journal
  • Journal Number: 72.5
  • Published Location: United States
  • ISBN: 00178969
  • Country: Australia

Australian rural general practitioners (GPs) require public health knowledge. This study explored the suitability of teaching complex public health issues related to Aboriginal health by way of a hybrid problem-based learning (PBL) model within an intensive training retreat for GP registrars, when numerous trainees have no PBL experience. A mixed method evaluation. Pre-training surveys on PBL experience and post-training semi-structured telephone interviews exploring the impact of the model and its desirability. Thematic and discourse analysis of interview statements, coded independently by two researchers. Seventeen GP trainees and four tutors participated. Six main themes emerged: experience; PBL impact; learning modalities; educational needs; educational expectations; and educational planning. No discernable differences were identified between Australian and international graduates, the knowledge impact of the hybrid model or desirability of the problem. While scabies offers a suitable scenario to explore rural public health complexities, a tension regarding the desire for intensive learning and PBL format needs to be addressed to increase trainees' satisfaction. A reduction in the number of PBL sessions, PBL instruction and highly structured PBL groups will assist. Trainees value mixed modality education, including PBL, so a tailored hybrid PBL is worth consideration.

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