Presentation on theme: "PDAs and first year medical students Annis Lee Adams, MA, MLIS, Virginia M. Tanji, MSLS, MEd, Joshua L. Jacobs, MD John A. Burns School of Medicine, University."— Presentation transcript:
PDAs and first year medical students Annis Lee Adams, MA, MLIS, Virginia M. Tanji, MSLS, MEd, Joshua L. Jacobs, MD John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI DESCRIPTION As a part of three-year project funded by The National Library of Medicine that aimed to improve electronic communication with medical students in a community-based medical school, medical students were given training on using cell phone PDAs to access Medline. We surveyed medical students abilities and comfort with PDAs in general as well as searching Medline on the PDAs via the MD on Tap PDA application. For this project, NLM created a MD on Tap transaction website (Fig. 1) that allowed students to view the results of their searches conducted on their PDAs and with one-click access full text articles available from the Librarys subscriptions. A survey was given to grant-participating students at three times during the grant period and to a control group of non- grant participating students. The first survey was conducted before the participating students had any training on the use of their PDAs (Baseline). The Principal Investigator provided training on general PDA use to grant- participating medical students. Additionally, a librarian provided training on finding medical literature using MD on Tap, a PDA application to search Medline, to the same grant participating students. The second survey was given at the end of the school year after participating students had their PDAs for approximately 8 months (End Year 1 Survey). The third survey was administered at the end of the second year of participating students having their PDAs (End Year 2 Survey). METHODS Fig. 2: I think a PDA will enhance my educational experience in med school. Fig. 3: Having a PDA has improved my ability to retrieve info for med school. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The rate of return for the first two surveys was 100%, because they were administered during class. The rate of return for the final survey was lower (38%), because students responded at their leisure. This self-selection is a limitation of the study. On the Baseline, 62% agreed that a PDA would enhance their educational experience in medical school. That dropped to 46% on the End Year 1 Survey, but then spiked back up to 75% on the End Year 2 Survey (Fig. 2). The control group may have rated the Fig. 2 question more highly than the grant-participating students, because they were envious of their fellow students receiving free PDAs. When asked if the information found in MD on Tap was useful, the students consistently disagreed on both the End Year 1 (37%) and End Year 2 (40%) surveys (Fig. 4). Students reported that they rarely or never retrieved the full text from the MD on Tap transaction website (Fig. 5). Anecdotally, students liked using their PDAs for quick medical reference (e.g. dictionaries) and for calendar functions, but found the information from MD on Tap beyond what they need in the first two years. Possibly, a higher satisfaction with MD on Tap would be found after the clerkship years. Fig. 4: Is the info from MD on Tap useful? On the End Year 1 and End Year 2 surveys, students who agreed that PDAs would enhance their educational experience wrote comments such as: I use the web feature to look up definitions... Its useful as a planner and to look things up quickly It's helpful to have lots of information in such a small space and always accessible. It's convenient for looking up info & less bulky than carrying around books/paper, etc. Quick reference; learn functionality before I get too busy Students who disagreed with the statement wrote: Dont use it except for its calendar Access to resources is limited Good for schedule... Internet is too slow and cumbersome to use. General comments included: Treo phone model is really bad... phone freezes Info from MD on Tap is beyond what we need in the 1st year... I want basic info not clinical trials Links to full articles do not always connect MD on Tap hard to do searches and oftentimes doesnt give as relevant searches as with PubMed Besides MD on Tap, more useful programs should be offered STUDENT COMMENTS Fig. 1: MD on Tap transaction website Fig. 5: How often do you retrieve the full text from the MD on Tap transaction website? ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project was generously funded by the National Library of Medicine, Grant 5G08LM008130-03.