We’ve heard of UK Medical Colleges getting into smartphones for learning eg. Brighton & Sussex Medical School:
Cardiff Medical School’s iDoc Project:
So now it’s time for a big US college to follow suit and where better than Silicon Valley’s local – the School of Medicine at Stanford University. Apple Insider has the story on how they’ll be providing an Apple iPad to all incoming first year medical students and master of medicine students.
The school has cited the following four reasons behind the new program:
1. Student readiness for the technology
2. Flexibility of iPad technology eg. electronic viewing and annotation of course content in a portable, sharable and searchable format.
3. Ease of access to high quality information (eg. textbooks, images, course content, journals, Lane Library, search tools, etc) at any time, place
4. Environmental – in line with the Sustainable Stanford initiative that aims to build sustainable practices into every aspect of campus life.
I look forward to the day when Medical Educators don’t need to explain their decision to bring mobile devices into their medical curriculum. I always find amusing to reflect on how ill prepared a medical education leaves Doctors for the reality of their job eg. despite the fact that every single working day they’ll be expected to run a business and type on a computer – they don’t often get a single hour being taught how to do either.
How long will it be before educators recognise that the Doctors of tomorrow are never going to be working in a situation where they don’t have a smartphone at hand? Which medical school will be first to hold exams in which the students are expected to use their smartphones?
I mentioned before how positive it would be if Steve Jobs promoted the iPhone as a way to encourage organ donation, but maybe this initiative to train the next generation of medical professionals will have an even greater effect?