Designers of undergraduate medical education (UME) need to address the exponentially expanding volume and variability of scientific knowledge, where by didactic teaching techniques need to be augmented by innovative student - centric pedagogical strategies and implementation of milieus, where information, communication and technology-enabled tools are seamlessly integrated, and lifelong information gathering, assimilation, integration and implementation is the ultimate goal. In UME, the basic sciences provide a solid scaffold allowing students to develop their personal critical decisional framework as well as define the understanding of normal human physiology, pivotal for the identification, categorization and management of pathophysiology. However, most medical schools confine themselves to“stagnant curricula”, with the implementation of traditional “teacher centered” pedagogical techniques in the dissemination of the courses pertaining to basic sciences in UME.
To tackle the above paucity, we present a novel“6D-Approach”for the dissemination of concepts in basic sciences through mentored journal-clubs. The approach is informed by a teaching principle derived from Constructivism. The technique in which the 6D-approach can be implemented in UME, is shown using an example from a first-year course of Molecular Biology and Principles of Genetics at our medical school. A reflection on the impact of 6D-Approach for students as well as instructors is also presented.
The 6D-approach was positively received by the students and the formal feedback for the course: Molecular Biology and Principles of Genetics, where the approach was repeatedly employed, indicated that students expressed satisfaction with the teaching strategies employed in the course, with ~ 89% of the students in the cohort strongly agreeing with the highest grading score “extremely satisfied”. Further, the approach through the use of mentored journal clubs encourages retention of knowledge, critical thinking, metacognition, collaboration and leadership skills in addition to self-evaluation and peer feedback.
Hence, through the 6D-Approach, our attempt is to initiate, advance and facilitate critical thinking,problem-solving and self-learning in UME, demonstrated by graduating accomplished, competent and safe medical practitioners.