October 12, 2013
When Millennial med students’ iPad® use for instruction goes up, personal use goes down
With the entry of “Millenials” into medical residency programs across the country, institutions have started to examine ways to improve programs to correspond with that generation’s learning behaviors and preferences. A study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting found that Millennial residents use their iPad® to enhance their educational experience. Surprisingly, as residents increased use of their iPad® for educational purposes, their personal iPad® use decreased significantly.
“Millenials” (also called Generation Y) is a name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004, following Baby Boomers and Generation X.
“Millennial learners are more tech savvy and prefer a variety of active learning methods,” said Marcia B. Henry, Ph.D., clinical research coordinator with the Department of Anesthesiology at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans. “Based on these characteristics, we need to incorporate new teaching strategies and develop curricula using more multimedia and Internet sources.”
In the study, Apple iPad® 2 tablets were purchased by 22 residents using textbook funds. An anonymous, eight-question survey was e-mailed to the residents after the first and sixth month of iPad® use.
The study’s most surprising result was a 50 percent decrease in personal iPad® use by the residents. More than 88 percent of the residents used the iPad® for tangible educational purposes such as reading textbooks, accessing journal articles and purchasing educational applications.
Based on this information, resident curriculums should take advantage of multimedia, Internet learning, social media resources and other technology in more innovative ways, perhaps resulting in fewer lectures. The authors further noted that the role of clinical faculty may change from information disseminators to that of helping residents apply information to resolve clinical problems. The study authors also noted that the potential for immediate and expedited communication between residents and faculty mentors via technology could improve point-of-care and clinical outcomes.