iPads replace books at Weill Cornell

A month ago SRxA’s Word on Health reported that most doctors are not impressed with iPad wielding pharma reps.  However, it seems, this may be set to change.

Starting this fall, all first and second-year students at Weill Cornell Medical College will be provided with a new iPad 2 in place of the printed course notes and texts used by most students around the country.

With a  wealth of medical information and educational tools at their fingertips Cornell medical students will now be able to download course materials, see video or hear audio recordings of lectures, submit electronic course evaluations, access their grades, collaborate with other students, and save their notes and coursework.

I am very proud that Weill Cornell is one of the first medical colleges in the country to embrace this technology,” says Dr. Carol Storey-Johnson, senior associate dean of education at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The iPad will open a world of new learning opportunities for students and dramatically expand the way we train and educate a new generation of physicians.”

According to Jason Korenkiewicz, assistant dean of education administration, the paperless iPad is also a green alternative, that will save approximately 2 million pages and copies without being any more expensive.

Students are giving the device high marks. Although some were apprehensive about how the iPad would fit into their learning model, the response has been extremely positive and quickly won over the students who were resistant to changing their study habits.  Not only do they avoid lugging around heavy printed text books, they have found that the iPad reinforces learning and retention of information through a variety of multimedia.

For example an app called “Unbound Medicine” is a medical database for diseases, medications and diagnoses. Such reference applications give students the ability to have the most up-to-date medical facts and findings with them at all times.

Additionally, students can use interactive apps on their iPads to see animated 3-D molecular models of different proteins and compounds. The device’s advanced graphics allow students to view molecular structures with depth, rather than as a flat illustration on a sheet of paper, helping them to better understand how the structures function in the body.

The devices will also help students prepare to be clinicians in the electronic age. Going forward, there are plans to have students’ iPads synched with electronic medical record systems for training during their internships.

We’re guessing that this new generation of doctors will have fewer problems seeing pharma reps with iPads.  Maybe in the future we’ll all be seeing i-to-i.