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December 2, 1992

Information Technologies in US Medical Schools: Clinical Practices Outpace Academic Applications

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Medical Information and Technology, San Francisco, Calif.

JAMA. 1992;268(21):3106-3107. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490210088040

STUDIES of medical education reform have underscored the importance of students' acquiring an understanding of the information sciences.1-3 To ascertain how computer-based technologies are being taught in US medical schools, I completed telephone interviews with faculty identified by their dean's office as overseeing the use of computers in medical education at 92 (73%) of the 126 US medical schools. During the interview, participants were asked to respond to five questions:

  1. Is the use of computers a formally required part of the undergraduate medical curriculum? If so, in which classes is it required?

  2. Who oversees the development and implementation of classes that use computer technology?

  3. Does the medical school have an official long-term plan or an articulated vision concerning the use of computers within the future curriculum?

  4. Are any of the medical school faculty or staff currently developing software or other computer-based materials that will be used to teach students

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