A manageable approach to integrating personal digital assistants into a family medicine clerkship

Julie Scott Taylor, David Anthony, Laura K. Lavallee, Nathaniel L. Taylor
2006 Medical Teacher  
Personal digital assistants (PDAs) were incorporated into the six-week Family Medicine Clerkship in 2002 to achieve two major goals: tracking students' outpatient encounters at preceptor sites and providing opportunities to use PDAs during medical visits. Each student collects information on each patient seen. Data are then retrieved and presented to students individually and as a group twice during the rotation. Each PDA also contains several clinical resources that students use during both
more » ... use during both small group didactic sessions and real clinical encounters. These results are based on data collected from 85 students who completed the clerkship over the course of one year who recorded information on demographics, presenting problems, procedures, and type of precepting for a total of 11,146 patient encounters. The cumulative results have allowed clerkship faculty and administrators to set standard expectations of individual students and preceptors with respect to numbers of patients seen and type of precepting received. This PDA project is manageable in terms of costs as well as effort on the part of both students and faculty and has numerous benefits to the clerkship, one of which is the ability to provide real-time feedback to clerkship students and thus promote adult learning skills.
doi:10.1080/01421590600632904 pmid:16753729 fatcat:k3k4mxfth5cfhpoyzcta5hcyza