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February 11, 2009

Internet-Based Education for Health Professionals

JAMA. 2009;301(6):598-600. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.69

To the Editor: The meta-analysis of Internet-based learning in the health professions by Dr Cook and colleagues1 puts to rest 2 very important issues that have plagued research in medical education for decades. First, the authors addressed whether an innovative educational method works (ie, is it efficacious?). In the study by Cook et al, this innovation is the Internet and their meta-analysis came up with the best answer possible given the methodological limitations in the primary studies. As the authors rightly identified, the main question educators want answered is not “Does it work?” but “When does it work?”2,3 The research agenda needs to move on and medical education researchers and journal editors need to adapt to this change.

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