Amy B. Guiot, MD, Melissa Klein, MD, Corinne Lehmann, MD, MEd, Constance McAneney, MD, Chris Peltier, MD Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Background: While many medical schools and hospitals utilize websites containing administrative information for medical students, there are few studies describing the students’ opinions of the effectiveness of these sites. Additionally, the literature suggests that many of the existing websites contain mainly administrative information; this one was a combination of educational and administrative information in one convenient easily accessible location. The purpose of this study was 1) to create a website, designed specifically for third year medical students during their pediatric clerkship, to improve access to administrative and educational information, (hospital clinical guidelines, PowerPoint presentations, links to search engines, journals, pertinent articles and CLIPP cases) 2) compare medical students’ opinions on the usefulness of this centralized website to the previous paper orientation packet 3) compare medical students’ utilization of the website and opinions of time saved and effect on knowledge. Methods: This was a non-randomized study, using a pre-post test design with a combination of 5 point Likert scale and yes/no questions created de novo on SurveyMonkey. Anonymous surveys were completed after the pediatric clerkship by both groups. Post-intervention students had access to the newly created medical student website whereas the pre-intervention students used the traditional paper packets, textbooks and the internet for educational resources. The medical student website was composed of five main components: 1) Fundamentals and Forms, 2) Orientation Information, 3) Key Resources, 4) General Pediatric PowerPoint Presentations, and 5) Key Journal Articles. Results: Pre-intervention medical students reported needing to access multiple different sites to obtain medical information: (96% hospital intranet, 98.1% PubMed/AAP/CDC, 86.1% hospital clinical guidelines, 46.9% Google/Yahoo search engines, 42.9% journal access), 95.9% used orientation handouts for administrative information, 62.6% used resident webpage more than once per day for information, 73.5% thought that the new website would be useful and 81.7% strongly agreed/agreed that the website would improve their time efficiency. Regarding creation of the website, post-intervention medical students strongly agreed/agreed that the information on the website easily accessible (65.6%), the information was relevant (68.8%), and the website was easy to navigate (64.6%). Only 34.4% used the resident webpage more than once per day with the availability of the new student webpage. 53.1% of post-intervention students strongly agreed/agreed (7.4% disagreed) that readily available learning resources on the website improved their pediatric knowledge. Conclusion: The medical student webpage, combining administrative and educational materials for the pediatric clerkship, was considered accessible, relevant and easy to navigate by the students. As all their information was centrally located, they utilized the resident webpage less frequently. Since the educational material was previously created by faculty, the time required to organize and upload to the webpage was minimal and worthwhile.