The relation between learning process and content coverage is becoming increasingly important for the understanding of the effects of problem-based learning (PBL) on students' learning. In our medical school, PBL is used as a major educational strategy in the discipline of pathophysiology. A computer program was developed allowing students to register learning issues identified as needed during tutorial sessions and learning issues stated as covered during the individual study periods. In our study, we compared "planned" (learning issues identified during PBL sessions) and "accomplished" learning issues (covered after the independent study periods) identified by pathophysiology students from three consecutive years. We found that the planned learning issues raised during tutorial sessions related to the issues effectively accomplished during the independent study and that their number grew stepwise from basic to preclinical to clinical sciences. Pathophysiology was, globally, the most mentioned discipline. Moreover, the most mentioned disciplines from the basic, preclinical, and clinical areas were physiology, histopathology, and internal medicine, respectively. The single-discipline approach did not limit the student's capacity to identify and cover learning issues beyond the objectives of pathophysiology.