Medical EducationORIGINAL ARTICLE

The effectiveness of the metabolic map in promoting meaningful learning

Zeynep Gromley, PhD; Chinelo Agwuncha, OMS, I; Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD; and Adam Gromley, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: June 23, 2021

Accepted: September 21, 2021

Published: January 5, 2022

  • Zeynep Gromley, PhD, 

    DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, USA

  • Chinelo Agwuncha, OMS, I, 

    DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, USA

  • Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD, 

    Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine/John D. Bower School, Jackson, MS, USA

  • Adam Gromley, PhD, 

    Department of Pathology, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, USA

Abstract

Context: Many medical students and practicing physicians view biochemistry, especially its metabolic pathways, as a challenging topic given the depth of material. Medical biochemistry educators aim to help prepare future physicians to apply knowledge of metabolism to disease processes. Research confirms that study tools promote critical thinking and help to connect biochemistry concepts to health and disease processes.

Objectives: To explore whether the Pathways of Human Metabolism Map as a study tool helps to connect basic metabolic pathways to clinical applications.

Methods: We provided the Pathways of Human Metabolism Map to our first-year osteopathic medical students and conducted a survey to assess their perceptions. Our survey questions aimed to explore the effectiveness of utilizing the metabolic map for connecting the basic metabolic pathways to clinical applications on their studies. Students were surveyed at the end of the course utilizing a Qualtrics survey encompassing Likert scale questions as well as open-ended responses.

Results: The results of our comprehensive survey questions revealed the unique perceptions of students. Analysis of our data implicates that study tools like the metabolic map inspire meaningful learning.

Conclusions: Our data show that students who utilized the metabolic map in their studies reported that utilizing the map improved their understanding of medical biochemistry. Our research results suggest that providing study aids like the metabolic map encourages students to minimize rote memorization and promotes integration with clinical context. Our results provide a support for study strategies that implement meaningful learning in medical education.

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