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PDAs and first year medical students                                                                      Annis Lee Adams,...
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PDAs and First Year Medical Students


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Poster at the Medical Library Association Meeting 2008.

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PDAs and First Year Medical Students

  1. 1. 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 STUDENT COMMENTS Fig. 5: How often do you retrieve the full text from the MD on Tap transaction website?As a part of three-year project funded by The National Library of On the End Year 1 and End Year 2 surveys, students who agreed that PDAs would enhanceMedicine that aimed to improve electronic communication with their educational experience wrote comments such as:medical students in a community-based medical school, • I use the web feature to look up definitions. . . 60% 60%medical students were given training on using cell phone PDAs • It’s useful as a planner and to look things up quicklyto access Medline. We surveyed medical students’ abilities and • Its helpful to have lots of information in such a small space and always accessible. 43%comfort with PDAs in general as well as searching Medline on • Its convenient for looking up info & less bulky than carrying around books/paper, etc.the PDAs via the MD on Tap PDA application. • Quick reference; learn functionality before I get too busy 40% 37% Often OccasionallyFor this project, NLM created a MD on Tap transaction website Students who disagreed with the statement wrote: 25%(Fig. 1) that allowed students to view the results of their • Don’t use it except for its calendar Rarelysearches conducted on their PDAs and with one-click access • Access to resources is limited 20% 17% Neverfull text articles available from the Library’s subscriptions. • Good for schedule. . . Internet is too slow and cumbersome to use. 10% 10% General comments included: 2% • Treo phone model is really bad. . . phone freezes 0% • 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 End Yr 1 End Yr 2Fig. 1: MD on Tap transaction website • MD on Tap hard to do searches and oftentimes doesn’t give as relevant searches as with PubMed Survey Survey • Besides MD on Tap, more useful programs should be offered RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS Fig. 2: I think a PDA will enhance my educational experience in med school. 75% The rate of return for the first two surveys was 100%, because 80% 73% they were administered during class. The rate of return for the 62% final survey was lower (38%), because students responded at 60% their leisure. This self-selection is a limitation of the study. 46% Agree On the Baseline, 62% agreed that a PDA would enhance their 40% 35% Dont Know educational experience in medical school. That dropped to 46% 28% on the End Year 1 Survey, but then spiked back up to 75% on 24% 23% Disagree 20% the End Year 2 Survey (Fig. 2). 20% 2% 5% The control group may have rated the Fig. 2 question more 0% highly than the grant-participating students, because they were 0% envious of their fellow students receiving free PDAs. Baseline End Year 1 Control End Year 2 Survey Group Survey 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). METHODS Students reported that they rarely or never retrieved the full text Fig. 3: Having a PDA has improved my ability to retrieve info for med school. Fig. 4: Is the info from MD on Tap useful? from the MD on Tap transaction website (Fig. 5).A survey was given to grant-participating students at threetimes during the grant period and to a control group of non- Anecdotally, students liked using their PDAs for quick medical 70% 50% reference (e.g. dictionaries) and for calendar functions, but foundgrant participating students. 60% 60% 40% the information from MD on Tap beyond what they need in the 40% 37%The first survey was conducted before the participating 35% first two years. Possibly, a higher satisfaction with MD on Tapstudents had any training on the use of their PDAs (Baseline). 50% 30% would be found after the clerkship years. 39% 39% Agree 30% 28% AgreeThe Principal Investigator provided training on general PDA 40% 24%use to grant- participating medical students. Additionally, a Dont Know Dont Knowlibrarian provided training on finding medical literature using 30% 25% 20% Disagree 22% DisagreeMD on Tap, a PDA application to search Medline, to the same 15% 20%grant participating students. 10% 10%The second survey was given at the end of the school year 0%after participating students had their PDAs for approximately 8 0% ACKNOWLEDGMENTS End Year 1 End Year 2months (End Year 1 Survey). The third survey was End Year 1 End Year 2administered at the end of the second year of participating Survey Survey This project was generously funded by the National Library of Survey Surveystudents having their PDAs (End Year 2 Survey). Medicine, Grant 5G08LM008130-03.