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Hum Pathol. 1990 Oct;21(10):998-1002.

Computers in medical education: information and knowledge management, understanding, and learning.

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  • 1State University of New York, Health Science Center, Syracuse.


Desktop computers have evolved to permit physicians in practice and/or training to access and manage information to enhance knowledge, understanding, and learning. There are compelling reasons why the personal computer is key to learning and important in medical education. Above all, the computer enhances and amplifies the learning process. Using the desktop computer effectively is relatively easy. We teach our students to research information in books and journals and hope that, as practicing physicians, they do it even more to be current and maintain their competency. Why not a desktop computer to access and manage information, analyze it, and present findings? Computer technology is available to do virtually all of these tasks. Some tools are critical for medical students. For some time, all medical students have needed a black bag and microscope. Now every medical student needs a computer. Ample courseware is available and expanding rapidly for basic sciences and clinical disciplines. The explosion in biomedical information will continue. Finding information is key to understanding and learning rather than depending solely on memory, recall, or library trips for information. The desktop computer will benefit students, faculty, and future physicians and other health professionals as life-long learners.

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