My PBL group this half year is unusual IMO.
Some background. My previous cohort at Med school was fairly friendly and most people got on with most others and there was a good mix of people and experiences and very little cliquiness. PBL groups worked quite well most of the time because people were willing to contribute, and listened to other people before speaking so their contribution added to, instead of repeating what had been said.
I was tipped off by some staff at the start of the year that my new cohort had a few more cliques - including the self-named "Team Beautiful". I think I have identified a few of the above.....fashionable, impractical/inappropriate clothing in hospitals/labs, as well as some wealth related factors which most of the old Uni's get and were at Edinburgh affectionately known as Yah's. They tend to have very nice new cars, go abroad for weekends during term, and have been to very nice private schools and have a 'sheltered' view of the real world, especially the world of the socially disadvantaged in Glasgow.
Anyway back to my PBL group. My PBL group is formed of 2 clinical practice groups, which means one day a week 6 of us spend the morning together on a ward, and then after lunch meet up with the other group and we do PBL as a group of 12 or so. It is interesting to notice the changes in behaviour of some members of the group between the morning and afternoon.
My clinical practice group is 6 people: me, 2 fairly normal people, one nice yah, and someone who is perhaps a wanabee member of Team beautiful but is fairly normal when with us. However in the afternoon at PBL, he clicks in with the other group, which seems to have a majority of Team beautiful members, and only 2 normal people, who say they end up talking to each other mostly as they get ignored.
Thursday was quite bad, the seating arrangement seemed to have worked out with the Team Beautiful (TB) members at one end and the 'normal' people at the other. Due to saome people being late due to parking chaos, I was chairing the feedback from the previous week's PBL, which had been on Duchenne Muscular dystrophy and also aspects of genetic counselling of potential parents. The facilitator is an anaesthatist who does obstetric procedures, and she was giving us some non-textbook background as to the options and the factors involved in making decisions to do with genetic counselling, termination etc. The TB people had been talking over, and repeating what the rest of us had been saying at the start of feedback, which really un-nerved me as chairman, and then were having small jokes themselves. Suddenly they all started talking about House, and ignoring the rest of us....then one complained at how long PBL was taking, and started yawning...when they were the ones talking and going down tangents instead of sticking to teh discussion. A couple of other things happened too which made it a very odd PBL, but for sake of preserving their anonymity I can't go into that yet.
It was all quite bizarre, and on the walk to the train station, a few of the 'normal' people in the group were saying how dysfunctional our PBL group is in danger of becoming. Thankfully only another 3 weeks until we reach halfway and are mixed up again into new groups at new hospitals.