Paradigm shifts in medical education: implications for medical/health librarians in sub-Saharan Africa.
Contemporary health and medical education in the present information dispensation must actively engage healthcare providers in opportunities for knowledge seeking, learning to learn, and motivation to continue learning. The favored pedagogical design to achieve this is Problem-Based Learning (PBL) enhanced with the provision of library and information services that will enable health workers to acquire problem solving and lifelong learning capabilities. This paper presents a brief analysis of Problem-Based Learning features and their usefulness in medical and health education in Sub-Saharan Africa. In greater detail, it discusses the emerging roles of the medical/health librarian in the present knowledge dispensation. The new paradigm challenges information professionals to expand beyond traditional roles to designing and building quality knowledge management infrastructure that will provide access to quality-filtered, evidence-based, and critically analyzed information designed for use by healthcare trainers, students and consumers. In addition, the trend provides librarians with the opportunity to develop programmes for quality information instruction for healthcare professionals. The information professional is not only a collaborator in the research process and project management, but also facilitates immediate information access at the point of need for medical/health students, and also promotes public understanding of health issues through communication. Finally the paper discusses the measures that academic librarians can adopt in the successful implementation of PBL in their institutions.
University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal Vol. 9 (2) 2007: pp. 72-85