I had the great honor of speaking about Digital Professionalism and Digital Literacy today at the Information Technology in Academic Medicine conference and have had a number of great conversations afterwards.
I wanted to put a couple of thoughts down to further frame this discussion of digital literacy and the evolution of medical education that needs to take place.
When I get asked “What Can I Do?” to get more involved, I tend to answer with the story of how I got started in this space and how I became passionate about digital literacy…
Get Inspired! The first time I heard of many of these concepts and ideas was at the Medicine 2.0 Conference and Stanford Summit in 2010 and it completely blew my mind. I had been fixated on the minutia of implementing technology and iPads that I didn’t understand the role of technology and medicine on the grand scale. This conference helped me see that and provide CONTEXT for technology and what we do. All of you should attend one of these conferences - here’s a short list: Medicine 2.0 Congress, Health 2.0, Doctors 2.0, Stanford Medicine X, and TEDMED.
Find Role Models and Follow Them! My next step was figuring out how to actually get involved and how to learn more about these tools. Unlike most of my educational experience, there was no course for this, no book to follow, and I felt a very overwhelmed. So I found people that knew what they were doing…and watched, and read, and learned. You can look at my Twitter profile to see who I follow, but here are the people that inspired me when I got started:
Ask for Help…those of us who use social media and other emerging technologies in medicine and medical education do so because we are passionate about it, and we love to talk about our passion. Reach out and you’ll be surprised what can happen.
Participate, Share, and Collaborate Forward! Just because your students and residents are young doesn’t mean that they get it. Teach them and engage them in these discussions. Open their eyes and show them what is out there and what is possible and what COULD be - the medicine they will practice when they graduate will likely be very different than it is today, and it is our obligation to help them prepare for that.
Engage and Recruit! Engage with the decision makers at your school or hospital. This is important, not just for students/residents, but for any practicing healthcare provider from tech/medical assistant to physician. The leaders need to see your passion and understand why this is important and how their support can make a difference.
"Tell me, I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me, and I’ll understand" - Chinese Proverb
Here are the resources from my Keynote presentation given at the inaugural Mobile Computing in Medical Education conference:
iTunesU Collections at UC Irvine
iTunesU Courses at UC Irvine
Anki Interactive Flash Cards
As Emergency Physicians, unexpected deaths are part of our job. Telling families that their loved one has died does not get any easier over the years. Each time you do it, you have to remain stoic, you have to be the “rock” in the room. I often find my mind racing through pathophysiology to keep myself a little emotionally detached - sounds like a reasonable coping mechanism, right? A fatal accident or coding patient is not a loved one or a friend, but a patient with multi-system trauma or a massive MI unresponsive to treatment. This way I can compartmentalize that remaining bit of emotion so I can get through the family discussion and the rest of the day. It works most of the time.
But what happens when that patient is one of your own? A physician, a colleague, a friend?
This past weekend, the UCSF-Fresno Emergency Medicine family lost one of our own. Dr. Melissa Dowd, one of our interns, was killed after she was struck by a car while crossing the street. I had the pleasure of working with her a number of times this year and she was great - bright, full of potential, eager, loved learning, loved taking care of patients, and was just fun to be around.
But we are not invincible…we get sick, we get hurt, and sometimes so badly that we can’t be saved. We are not always stoic…we have sadness and we can feel loss.
It is times like this these that make you stop and re-evaluate. Tell your friends and families that you love them, cherish your time together. Life is random and sometimes, bad, unexpected things happen to good people, even to physicians.
Melissa, you will be missed.
Last week, Apple announced the release of the iPad mini, their new 5.3” x 7.8” answer to the growing market of smaller tablets and readers such as the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7. Since its release, I’ve received many questions as to the potential role of the mini in medical education - would its smaller size improve adoption rates, specifically in the clinical areas where the existing iPad may be too big? Or, should medical schools continue to stick with Apple or move to another device like the Kindle Fire or the Nexus 7? And possibly the most important question of all…do you have your iPad Mini yet?
Well first off…no iPad Mini yet - we purchase them through our campus computer store and our order only arrives next week. So with that in mind, this whole post may be invalidated as soon as I pick mine up. :)
Let’s look at its potential for Medical Education through the lens of the basic sciences experience and the clinical experience, since these two uses are quite different in their technology needs.
At the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine our philosophy on technology use during patient encounters is that mobile technologies, such as the iPad, are a useful patient education adjunct, though they should not distract from the purpose of the encounter. To assist in this endeavor, the iMedEd curriculum at UC Irvine has developed a list of 15 self-assessment questions to help providers better integrate mobile technology into patient encounters.
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