Increasingly physicians are using tablets on patient rounds to help them integrate electronic medical resources into their practice of medicine. Noting this trend, and following discussions of the potential roles tablets could play in educating preclinical and clinical medical students, Dr. Alex Montero and I decided to apply for a Georgetown University ITEL (Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning) grant last fall to allow us to use tablet technology to improve the education of medical students at Georgetown University School of Medicine. I am pleased to say that we were awarded the grant, and are now preparing to begin our project.
Next month we will be providing iPad minis to three randomly selected students rotating in the third year medicine clerkship. These students will be required to digitally collaborate with preclinical students in the EBM or P3 course. We will be instructing the clinical students to use the iPads to videotape case presentations on rounds and upload the videos on the GU Blackboard site.
One of the desired outcomes of this project is that preclinical students will connect the concepts they are learning with actual clinical practice. The project also will enable clinical students to revisit preclinical concepts within a clinical setting with actual patients, as well as encourage them to collaborate with and mentor their preclinical peers.
Preparing the iPads for distribution includes activating medical applications including Isabel, a differential diagnosis tool. During the project I’ll lead the training about this application and other electronic medical information resources to ensure clinical students are well versed in the best methods for finding medical information.
Because our project is structured to include clinical and preclinical students, Dr Montero and I believe the impact of the integration of iPads into the learning process will be quite significant, and will help GuSOM students become better doctors.