Students of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine PA Program benefit from inquiry-based learning (IBL) by developing and applying knowledge in the basic and clinical sciences; learning effective interpersonal skills; enhancing independent learning; and accepting responsibility for their own education.  

IBL produces independent learners who can continue to learn on their own in life and in their chosen careers. 

The Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) Process 

Working in small groups, students begin to work through a patient case using information they already possess, while simultaneously recognizing what else they need to learn to better understand the patient’s problem and how to resolve it. They research the information needed using a variety of resources (books, journals, reports, online information, and people with appropriate areas of expertise). Learners then apply what they learned in order to more fully understand and resolve the case.  

The objectives of IBL are to produce learners who will: 

  • Engage with initiative and enthusiasm the challenges they face in life and career  
  • Problem-solve effectively using an integrated, flexible, and usable knowledge base 
  • Employ effective self-directed learning skills to continue learning as a life-long habit 
  • Continuously monitor and assess the adequacy of their knowledge, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skills 
  • Collaborate effectively as a member of a team