Teaching Clinical Pharmacology Using Team-Based Learning: A Comparison Between Third- and Fourth-Year Medical Students

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The purpose of this study was to formulate evidence-based recommendations on whether to deliver the team-based learning (TBL)-designed clinical pharmacology course at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine (AUBFM) during the third year instead of the fourth and final year of the medical curriculum. Between June 2010 and May 2011, AUBFM offered the course to both classes simultaneously to compare their performance. The findings of this endeavor supported the introduction of the course during the third year, first because fourth-year students did not outperform third-year students despite having the advantage of an additional year of clinical experience, and second, third-year teams seemed more likely to develop into better functioning teams. The findings also suggested that simultaneous delivery of TBL sessions to both third- and fourth-year teams was less favorably recommended because of the varying learning pace of both student groups.