PedsCases - A Learning Module for Adolescent Medicine for Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
7949 February 2, 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 that 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 three cases that outline an approach to Adolescent Medicine for medical students. The cases review and outline some common medical problems that arise in this population and provide the student with a general approach. The key issues that are touched upon in the cases are eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa), contraception and diabetes mellitus. In addition, this learning module contains a podcast outlining an approach to obtaining a proper adolescent history as well as tips on how to ask difficult questions.

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 15 pediatrician moderators involved. The staff involvement ranges from moderating and reviewing questions, to writing and creating podcasts to filming procedural videos. At the time of submission, PedsCases contains 216 questions, 23 cases, 11 flash-card type quizzes, 11 podcasts and 2 clinical videos. After 17 months, there have been 23,521 page views from 2,148 unique visitors in 73 different countries. 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.


Kitney L, Gill P, Lewis M, Leslie K, Steinegger C. PedsCases - a learning module for adolescent medicine for medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7949.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to develop an approach to obtaining an appropriate history from an adolescent patient. To be able to develop an approach to weight loss in the adolescent age group including differential diagnoses, appropriate investigations and management.
  2. To be able to discuss and evaluate appropriate methods of contraception with an adolescent patient including risks, benefits and contraindications.
  3. To be able to understand the unique issues that occur in adolescents.
  4. To be able to learn the complexities that can occur in adolescents who suffer from chronic medical conditions.
  5. To be able to understand that psychosocial factors and environmental stressors have a large impact on adolescent health and must be considered in treatment planning.


  • PBL, PedsCases, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Hyperphagia, Eating Disorders, Diabetes Mellitus, Contraceptive Agents

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.
  2. Edmonton, AB, Canada. 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