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Teach Learn Med. 2012;24(3):219-24. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2012.692267.

Opportunities and challenges in integrating electronic health records into undergraduate medical education: a national survey of clerkship directors.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



Few studies have reported on the utilization and the effect of electronic health records on the education of medical students.


The purpose of this study was to describe the current use of electronic health records by medical students in the United States and explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating electronic health records into daily teaching of medical students.


A survey with 24 questions regarding the use of electronic health records by medical students was developed by the Alliance for Clinical Educators and sent to clerkship directors across the United States. Both quantitative and qualitative responses were collected and analyzed to determine current access to and use of electronic health records by medical students.


This study found that an estimated 64% of programs currently allow student use of electronic health records, of which only two thirds allowed students to write notes within the electronic record. Overall, clerkship directors' opinions on the effects of electronic health records on medical student education were neutral, and despite acknowledging many advantages to electronic health records, there were many concerns raised regarding their use in education.


Medical students are using electronic health records at higher rates than physicians in practice. Although this is overall reassuring, educators have to be cautious about the limitations being placed on student's documentation in electronic health records as this can potentially have consequences on their training, and they need to explore ways to maximize the benefits of electronic health records in medical education.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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