Making the Most of the ‘Spice’ in the SPICCES Curriculum: Practical Approach to Writing Case-based Learning Stories on Pre-clinical Topics

Medubi LJ(1), Medubi OO(2),

(1) Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
(2) Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Corresponding Author


Background: The College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL) is evolving its medical curriculum to accommodate innovative pedagogical methods that have the potentials to enhance learning and positively influence future professional practice. In its new curriculum adopted in 2017, it mandates the use of case-based learning (CBL). However, medical educators require training on how to write case stories that make CBL effective.
Objective: The objective of this work is to search PubMed for articles on CBL, identify and review CBL-related articles that provide practical guides on how to write CBL stories.
Results: PubMed-indexed articles on CBL have grown over the last three decades. However, there was not a single publication on CBL that attempts to describe what a good CBL story should look like or what rules should guide medical educators in writing CBL stories. We describe this as a lacuna and to fill the lacuna, we attempt to a description of what should be the intrinsic
characteristics of a good CBL story and we propose rules that CBL story writers should follow with particular reference to preclinical subjects.
Conclusion: Lack of instructional materials on how to write good stories for CBL underscores the need for continual training of medical educators at CMUL (and possibly everywhere). Overall, this work provides, to the best of our understanding, a reliable guide to medical teachers on what makes a good CBL story and how it can be written for an effective use of CBL pedagogy in
preclinical classes.


Case-based learning, medical education, didactic lecture, curriculum, pedagogy.

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