PedsCases: A Learning Module for the Approach to Pediatric Anemia

Publication ID Published Volume
10319 January 6, 2016 12


PedsCases is a comprehensive web-based educational tool that focuses on the core objectives of pediatric undergraduate medical education. PedsCases was created by and for medical students to meet their educational needs by providing opportunities for active self-directed learning in pediatrics. A variety of learning modalities are available and include podcasts, case-based questions, multistep clinical cases, and summaries of relevant guidelines.

The overarching objective of this learning module is to enable students to develop an approach to childhood anemia. This learning module includes multiple learning modalities. First, two podcasts have been developed, articulating an approach to anemia in children. The first podcast explores the differential diagnosis of anemia based on pathophysiologic process and then reviews relevant features on history and physical examination. The second podcast develops a focused approach to investigations, the interpretation of the complete blood count, and an introduction to management. A basic understanding of infant nutrition is critical to understanding the pathophysiology of iron-deficiency anemia. To address this gap, learners can review the attached summaries of the Canadian Paediatric Society and Health Canada joint statements on nutrition for healthy term infants. These summaries were produced with permission of the Canadian Paediatric Society as part of a project to introduce learners to important guidelines. Subsequently, learners can apply their knowledge of the objectives of the podcast through a series of five case-based self-assessment questions.

This teaching module involves a number of resources including podcasts, self-assessment cases, and summaries of national guidelines, which are also available online at PedsCases (

The overarching goal of PedsCases is the creation of a comprehensive educational tool that focuses on the core objectives of undergraduate pediatric education. The website offers students multiple learning modalities including multiple-choice questions, multistep clinical scenarios, links to evidence-based articles, and podcasts. Modules focus on the approach to a clinical problem and are centered on clinical cases that allow students to learn an approach that is practical and can be applied to their patient experiences, while also promoting the development of clinical reasoning skills.

PedsCases content is typically developed by medical students in partnership with pediatricians with expertise on the topic. The podcasts are a concise overview of the key learning objectives relative to the specific module. Using these modules and resources, PedsCases is a valuable tool that enables students to engage with the material in such a way as to promote independent learning. Furthermore, as there is considerable variability on how much time is allocated to pediatric presentations at the level of undergraduate medical education both in the preclerkship and clerkship years, PedsCases aims to fill this learning gap.

The anemia podcasts have collectively had over 7,000 downloads since their release in July 2015. At this time, we do not have any specific data on outcomes; however, we have received positive feedback from listeners.


Novak C, Forbes K, Gill P. PedsCases: a learning module for the approach to pediatric anemia. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10319.

Educational Objectives

After completing this module, medical students will be able to:

  1. Formulate a differential diagnosis for a child with anemia based on the three pathologic processes of production, destruction, and loss.
  2. Describe the history and physical exam features that would be consistent with a diagnosis of anemia and help establish possible causes of anemia.
  3. Order the appropriate investigations required to identify a specific cause of anemia in children.
  4. Interpret different indices of the complete blood count in the context of anemia.
  5. Formulate a management plan for iron-deficiency anemia.


  • Pediatrics, Anemia, Podcasts, Free Open Access Medical Education, Self-Assessment

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ISSN 2374-8265