Original Publication
Open Access

COPD Case for Small Group Learning

Published: March 13, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9720

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Faculty Guide.doc
  • Case for Students.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This case was developed to be administered during an internal medicine-geriatrics clerkship with third-year medical students in a small-group setting of approximately 5-20 students to provide instructions on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is based on learning objectives from the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine-Society of General Internal Medicine Core Medicine Clerkship Curriculum and the American College of Physicians Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of COPD. Methods: The learners should be given the provided case in advance of the session and asked to prepare answers to the questions included with the case. There are suggested resources that learners can read in advance and use to prepare answers. The didactic portion should take one hour to complete. The room should be set up so that learners and facilitator can face each other, preferably sitting around a large table. During the session, we recommend that the facilitator call upon learners to read the case aloud and discuss the questions and answers. This allows for the learners to present the knowledge they gained during preparation and teach their colleagues. The facilitator acts to correct misinformation and keep the pace of the discussion, but the bulk of teaching should be done by the learners themselves. Results: The rating of the session by approximately 140 clerkship students before and after implementation of the new case ranged from 3.24 to 3.75 on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 = unacceptable and 5 = superior. Discussion: This product is used during one of four case-based didactic sessions facilitated by geriatrics fellows-in-training at our institution. Because the expectation is that the learners will prepare in advance and will do the bulk of the teaching themselves peer-to-peer, this product is an excellent resource to be used by new and less experienced educators such as fellows-in-training.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe risk factors, signs and symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and causes of acute exacerbations.
  2. Identify the changes in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity that occur with COPD, and classify the severity of COPD based on these values.
  3. Develop treatment strategies for stable COPD and COPD exacerbations based on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines.
  4. Describe changes in lung function with age and the impact of smoking on FEV1.
  5. Assess a patient’s readiness to quit smoking and describe treatment options to assist that process.

Author Information

  • Sara Bradley, MD: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Dennis Chang: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Reena Karani: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

None to report.

None to report.


Bradley S, Chang D, Karani R. COPD case for small group learning. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9720. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9720