PedsCases - A Learning Module for Interpretation of Pediatric Abdominal X-Ray for Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
9199 July 17, 2012 8


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 4 multi-step clinical cases that review an approach to abdominal x-ray for medical students. The cases go through a 4 month old presenting with intussusception, an 18 month old with small bowel obstruction, an 8 year old with pneumatosis intestinal is, and a 4 year old with appendicitis. Each case includes several radiographical images and management considerations.

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 10 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 233 questions, 49 cases, 11 flash-card type quizzes, 11 podcasts and 2 clinical videos. There have been 23,521 page views from 2,148 unique visitors in 73 different countries. At present, podcasts have exceeded 75,000 downloads in over 99 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.


Hayward J, Gill P, Lee J, Dicken B. PedsCases - a learning module for interpretation of pediatric abdominal x-ray for medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9199.

Educational Objectives

  1. Develop an approach to interpreting an abdominal x-ray for a pediatric patient with abdominal pain
  2. Generate a differential diagnoses for abdominal pain in pediatric patients of various ages
  3. Understand the concerning findings on abdominal x-ray
  4. Determine the appropriate investigations and management plan for patients that present with intussusception, small bowel obstruction, pneumatosis intestinal is, and appendicitis.


  • Abdominal Pain, Abdominal X-Ray


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.

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