Background: Team learning, an innovative educational method combining interactive small group learning with expert-based content delivery, was introduced into our psychiatry clerkship in 2002. The main goal was to increase classroom engagement and improve educational outcomes. Description: Eight of 16 lectures were replaced with team learning activities, including prerequisite readings, readiness assurance tests, and application exercises. Data on students' performance and educational experiences were compared before and after curricular change. Evaluation: Following implementation of team learning, students performed significantly better on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) psychiatry subject test and scored higher on attitudes about working in teams. Students perceived team learning activities to be more engaging, effective, and enjoyable than conventional didactics. Conclusion: Incorporating team learning into the psychiatry clerkship was associated with improved student performance and increased student engagement and satisfaction. Team learning is a promising educational strategy that may prove useful in other clerkships.
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