PedsCases - A Learning Module for Evaluation of Acute Otitis Media in Children: Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
7950 April 8, 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 a podcast that reviews the approach to the evaluation of acute otitis media in children for medical students and reviews the common and more serious causes of acute otitis media. Subsequently, a case presents a previously well child who presents with acute ear pain. The case evaluates the proper evaluation and work-up of acute otitis media.

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 16 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, 32 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.


Gill P, Kapusta M, MacPherson P, Forgie S. PedsCases - a learning module for evaluation of acute otitis media in children: medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7950.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to review the common causes of acute otitis media.
  2. To be able to develop an approach to evaluating a child with a sore ear.
  3. To be able to develop a differential diagnosis to a child with a sore ear.
  4. To be able to understand the appropriate investigations to complete when evaluating a child with a sore ear.
  5. To be able to rule out the serious complications of acute otitis media
  6. To be able to learn the common sequelae of acute otitis media.
  7. To be able to learn the risk factors for developing acute otitis media.


  • Hypertension, Preconception Care, Prenatal Care, High-Risk Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Diabetes, Folic Acid

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