How Tech Savvy Is Your Medical School?
Technology offers a way to connect, communicate, and learn more quickly than past practices. As the years move on, we see an increased use of technology at medical schools and in medical practices. This increased use of technology in medicine makes it important for prospective students to assess each school’s technology offerings before deciding which is the best school to attend.
Here are 4 tips to help evaluate whether or not the medical school you’re interested in is tech savvy.
Frequent Use of Technology
Some medical schools have a lot of technology that sees little use. For instance, some universities will have new equipment in their laboratories usable only by residents and research faculty. The best way to find out if a school uses technology frequently is to ask current students. Pertinent questions to ask are “How often do you use technology in the classroom?”; “Do students have access to all the equipment in laboratories?”; “Do anatomy classes integrate imaging technology from the radiology department?”
Digital Access to Medical Research Findings
There’s an app for everything these days, including medical research findings. In our fast paced world where information is accessed and changed at the tap of a screen, it’s important to know you’ll have access to the latest, most up to date information. Therefore, you want to look for a school that offers technological resources which aggregate medical research. These resources help keep students and medical professionals up to date on best practices and new treatments. The mobile phone app UpToDate (http://www.uptodate.com/home) is a great example of medical research technology. With this app, medical professionals can access the most current recommendations and updates to information that may change the way they practice in the moment. The app also offers clinical decision support, links to full text research articles, and much more, all from the provider’s phone or tablet.
Online Video Lessons
Some schools offer lessons online that are short and easy to digest. This can be a useful aid when faced with multiple hours of anatomy lectures and other challenging subjects. Having the tool of shorter lessons available to students at their leisure accommodates different learning styles and peak learning times, as well as allowing the student to revisit areas of lecture they might not have completely grasped during class.
Quality and Variety of Simulations
Repetition is the mother of all learning. Therefore, you would think medical school faculty would want students to receive the most practice possible before working on actual people. However, this wasn’t really an option until the advent of technology. (Because, let’s face it, working on a cadaver isn’t quite the same thing as working on a living, breathing person.) Lucky for us, technology is so savvy these days someone created mannequins for medical students to practice on that act like living, breathing people.
Dr. Thomas Riles, associate dean for medical education and technology at the School of Medicine at New York Univerity and executive director of NYU’s Web Initiative for Surgical Education Modules, states, “We can simulate anything…We can simulate someone having a baby or a heart attack…Just going straight from textbook to patient doesn’t make a lot of sense.”