PedsCases - A Learning Module for Evaluation of a Pediatric Limp for Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
7910 January 14, 2010 6


PedsCases ( is a comprehensive web-based educational tool that focuses on the core objectives of undergraduate pediatric education with extensive student involvement. PedsCases was created for and by medical students - which provides an opportunity for active self-directed learning in pediatrics. The learning modalities available include questions, flash-card type quizzes, multi-step clinical cases and podcasts.

This learning module includes a podcast that reviews the approach to the evaluation of limp for medical students and reviews the common and more serious causes of limp. Subsequently, the case presents a previously well 6-year old boy who presents with a 5 day history of left knee pain. The case evaluates the proper evaluation and work-up of an acute limp.

PedsCases has been integrated into the third year undergraduate pediatric medical education curriculum at the University of Alberta. It is one of the main sources recommended to students to assist in covering the core objectives of the clinical pediatric rotation and to assist in preparing for the final examinations. Since the focus of medical education has shifted towards independent learning, PedsCases has become a complementary educational tool and has filled a niche.

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and the Division of Studies of Medical Education has committed to PedsCases as a recommended reference for future medical students. Currently, there are 8 student question writers and 14 pediatrician moderators involved. The staff involvement ranges from moderating and reviewing questions, to writing and creating podcasts to filming procedural videos.

PedsCases is one of the top 5 references returned by Internet search engines (including Google, and MSN) for the term "pediatric cases for medical students." PedsCases is posted as a recommended resource at the Canadian Healthcare Education Commons (CHEC), the PICUinfo Pediatric Critical Care Library, the Lincoln Memorial University Library website and the Distributed Medical Education Blog at Dalhousie University. The number of visitors to PedsCases has grown steadily since its inception in spring 2008. After 15 months, there have been 21,398 page views from 1,908 unique visitors in 71 different countries. PedsCases contains 208 questions, 16 clinical cases, 11 recall conditions and over 20 links.


Gill P, MacPherson P, LeBlanc C, Ellsworth J. PedsCases - a learning module for evaluation of a pediatric limp for medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7910.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to develop an approach to evaluating a child with a limp.
  2. To be able to develop a differential diagnosis to a child with a limp.
  3. To be able to understand the appropriate investigations to complete when evaluating a child with a limp.
  4. To be able to rule out the life-threatening causes of limp.
  5. To be able to review the common causes of pediatric limp.


  • Limp, PedsCases, Joint Pain

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. Gill PJ, Kitney L, Vanderpluym J, Kozan D, Lewis M.(2009) PedsCases: A Collaborative Pediatric Medical Education Website for Medical Students. Poster presentation at Canadian Conference for Medical Education (CCME), poster number P-85. Edmonton, AB, Canada.
  2. Gill PJ, Kitney L, Vanderpluym J, Kozan D, Lewis M.(2008) PedsCases: A Collaborative Pediatric Medical Education Website for Medical Students. Poster presentation at Women and Children's Health Research Institute (WCHRI) Research Day 2008, abstract ID #1983, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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ISSN 2374-8265