Original Publication
Open Access

An Elderly Man With Fever and Cough

Published: January 24, 2007 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.139

Included in this publication:

  • Elderly Man PBL.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This is one of 10 patient-oriented, problem-based learning (PBL) cases used in a second-year infection and immunity course. A group of physicians with expertise in microbiology, immunology, infectious disease, geriatric medicine, and ethics developed the group of cases which were successfully piloted in the fall of 2006. This case covers a variety of significant issues including infections in the elderly, antibiotic resistance, nosocomial infections, septic shock, and termination of life support. Learners begin the session with a multiple-choice pretest and then are divided into groups of four. Each group member receives one of the four case books, which contains unique information about the case. The members of a group need to work together and exchange information in order to solve the case. Then learners complete a posttest. The resource guide includes all materials needed to run this activity including explained answers to the pre-/posttest and comments about the case. The exercises are highly rated by the students who feel that group-based learning is an optimal format for promoting understanding and retention of key facts and concepts.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this case, learners will be able to:

  1. Apply basic science knowledge to the solution of clinical problems.
  2. Identify sources (i.e., textbooks and peers) that will be available to help them throughout their career.
  3. Increasing their ability to evaluate their colleagues' opinions, thought processes, and diagnoses.
  4. Improve communication skills and comradery amongst classmates.

Author Information

  • Gabriel Virella: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Virella G. An elderly man with fever and cough. MedEdPORTAL. 2007;3:139. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.139