Self-directed learning in population health. A clinically relevant approach for medical students

Lyndal J. Trevena*, Rufus M. Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In this article, we describe the education model used to integrate population health learning into a new 4-year medical program at the University of Sydney. Method: Our two-pronged approach aims to prepare third-year students to integrate population health thinking into their day-to-day clinical reasoning and to equip them with skills to investigate specific population health topics. We provide an example of a student-led, small-group session on health issues for disadvantaged populations, along with an outline of our assessment and evaluation methods. This innovative course illustrates one approach to the challenge of motivating students to bridge the gap between their interest in the medical care of individual patients and the healthcare needs of whole populations. Results/Conclusions: Students performed adequately in the assessments required for progression to the next year of the program. Students rated the case-based exercises; self-directed learning; on-line and library resources; tutor facilitation; and student-led, small-group sessions as effective methods for learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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