D&E professor’s paper is published
ELKINS — An international education journal has taken notice of the Davis & Elkins College biology program for its use of clinical case studies in pre-medical curriculum.
“Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching” recently published a paper by D&E Professor of Biology Dr. Shawn Stover detailing how the program is successfully preparing students for medical school.
In the paper, Stover explains the integration of clinical cases in human physiology, functional histology and biochemistry — courses strongly recommended for pre-medical students. Each semester, students are presented with at least five clinical cases to analyze. The traditional small class sizes and strong faculty-student interactions at D&E are conducive to active learning, allowing students to work on cases in small groups as part of laboratory activities, in-class discussions and homework assignments. Clinical cases cover a range of medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Bell’s palsy and emphysema.
“Small group learning has become very popular in medical schools in recent years, and the clinical case study is one of the primary teaching tools of medical education,” Stover said. “By providing multiple opportunities to experience clinical case teaching, D&E is preparing its pre-med students for the active learning environment associated with current medical education.”
Stover points out that previous research indicates that the use of case studies is effective for promoting critical thinking, enhancing interest in curricular content, and improving student understanding of core concepts.
The Department of Biology and Environmental Science at D&E offers multiple specialization tracks for biology majors, including general biology, pre-medical, pre-veterinary and secondary education.