Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics

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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:


Student Response to Implementation of iPad-based Curriculum in Pediatric Clerkship

Authors:
Richard P. Hobbs,University of North Carolina,Durham,NC,Sue Tolleson-Rhinehart,University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill,Nc


Background:

Many medical schools are increasingly turning to technology to educate their students, particularly using tablets as a means to improve education and patient care. However, while there have been studies of course directors, there have not been studies of students who have used the devices. 



Objectives:

We set out to assess the acceptability, effectiveness and desirability of using a tablet, pre-loaded with selected resources, to educate students while on their Pediatric clerkship at the University of North Carolina. 



Results:

Pre-clerkship, 64.2% of students expressed interest in a tablet-based curriculum, regardless of prior tablet ownership, although 68.6% of students worried about whether tablet use conveyed unprofessionalism. Post-clerkship, only 4% felt the tablet negatively affected professionalism. 82% of students found the tablet easy to use. 62% felt they became more efficient when answering clinical questions at the point of care. 51.1% perceived the tablet improved their performance; those who believed this were highly likely (Gamma = 0.861, p < .001) to be satisfied with their tablets.  Belief that the tablet improved performance was strongly associated with several domains of patient care (see Table 1).

Discussion:

74.4% of students had not used a tablet in other clerkships, but 82.2% were in favor of this innovation.  82% of students found the tablet easy to use. In this cohort, smartphones (75%) are already outpolling textbooks (61%) and print journals (19%) as additional curricular resources.  Belief in the tablet’s ability to improve student performance appears to be a point of resistance:  once students believe the tablet is helping them, they appear to become enthusiasts.  Our  continuing research agenda will include demonstrations of individual over-time change, correlations of student impressions with their objective performance (e.g. on shelf exams), and further probing of students’ concerns about tablets and professionalism.