Aim: Presentation of skills and knowledge of medical students in psychiatry or psychosocial medicine in basic study (year 1 to 3) after the introduction of a problem oriented learning curriculum at the Medical Faculty of Berne.Method: Description of the curriculum with the different teaching units, and the evaluation by means of formative tools used by students and tutors.Results: With reference to qualitative comparison students of the problem based learning track showed a better preparation of the different teaching units than did traditional students. Moreover, compared to classical teaching, students in problem based learning rated the commitment of the teachers higher. The formative results showed a better adherence to the teaching modules, a higher effort in self learning and a higher interest in psychological or psychiatric learning items.Discussion: The higher commitment of teachers and the explicit structuring of the teaching contents in psychiatry and psychosocial medicine showed positive effects in the learning strategy of students. Beside the fact that exams have been adapted to the new curriculum one can assume that the learning style has changed. This might be a result of the better learning environment in the new curriculum. However, there is not clear how and to what extent these changes will remain active until the final exams of the medical curriculum when psychosocial contents will be reexamined.Conclusions: The intense commitment of the teachers and the better structuring of the subject matter may lead to a better integration of psychosocial and psychiatric issues into the medical curriculum.