Sep 9, 2009

Technology based learning in Medical sciences

healthcare IT

Internet based training has been adopted in a number of disciplines but for some vested interests, not much progress has been made in the Medical field. Reasons given for this hesitation range from constructive real doubts (Will it teach them all the nuances they need to know?) to manipulative self doubts (what if the students don't need me anymore?).Not too many of the Teachers realize that these tools are to assist them in grooming future doctors, and not to replace them in the system. The last time any major breakthrough was achieved in education was when oral teaching was supplemented by printing of books. I can only imagine the astonishment and resistance the teachers of that era would have expressed on realizing that students could get information in their absence, too!! "Stop printing Books!", they said, " It will poison the minds of our students. And anyways, what can some ink on paper teach a student without having heard the same thing from a Guru"s mouth?". But very soon we had the same gurus jostling to publish their own books and integrate those into their own evolving didactic styles. Use of internet in education is probably the single most beneficial addition to education after Printing press.

A study led by a team of education researchers from Mayo Clinic and recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that Internet-based education generally is effective.The study was conducted by David Cook, M.D, and Denise Dupras, M.D., Ph.D., Patricia Erwin, and Victor Montori, M.D., all of Mayo Clinic; and Anthony Levinson, M.D., and Sarah Garside, M.D., Ph.D., from McMaster University.

"The research also showed that Internet-based instruction compared favorably to traditional instructional methods... confirm that, across a wide variety of learners, learning contexts, clinical topics, and learning outcomes, Internet-based instruction can be as effective as traditional methods." Dr. Cook notes that Internet-based instruction has unique advantages, including flexible scheduling, adaptability of instruction, and readily available content that is easily updated. "As health care workers balance challenging practice demands, the ever-expanding volume of medical knowledge requires us to find more effective, efficient ways to learn," says Dr. Cook. "Internet-based instruction will be an important part of the solution."

News report on Eureka alert

This is not the first report which says this, and this definitely wont be the last. Private players in India, like MEdRC Edutech have taken a bold lead in creating computer based medical e learning content and LMS, but with so much resistance in the higher places, it seems like a long war ahead for CBT pioneers in medicine.

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