PedsCases - A Learning Module for the Developmental Assessment in Children for Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
7988 April 9, 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 overviews the approach to developmental assessment of children. The podcast outlines definitions and examples of developmental milestones in the 5 sectors. Furthermore, the podcast goes through clinical observation and history-taking, listing important questions to ask in key age-groups: babies, toddlers and older children.

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, 37 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. There have been 425 downloads of PedsCases podcasts in 1 week of availability. 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, Andrews D. PedsCases - a learning module for the developmental assessment in children for medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7988.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to outline the importance of developmental surveillance and assessment.
  2. To be able to review an approach to assessing child development for medical students.
  3. To be able to describe, define and provide examples of milestones in the 5 major sectors of development.
  4. To be able to review the use of naturalistic clinical observation.
  5. To be able to review important questions to ask about babies, toddlers and older children.
  6. To be able to discuss the importance of regression.


  • Development, PedsCases, Children, Babies, Toddlers, Naturalistic Observation, Regression

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