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Med Teach. 2016 May;38(5):504-9. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2016.1150990. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Educating medical students in the era of ubiquitous information.

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a Department of Learning Health Sciences , University of Michigan Medical School , Ann Arbor , MI , USA ;
b School of Information, School of Public Health, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , MI , USA ;
c NORC at the University of Chicago, Health Sciences , Bethesda , MD , USA ;
d San Francisco VA Medical Center, Mental Health Service , San Francisco , CA , USA.


Health care around the world is going digital. This inexorable trend will result in: (1) routine documentation of care in digital form and emerging national infrastructures for sharing data that allow progress toward a learning health system; and (2) a biomedical "knowledge cloud" that is fully integrated into practice environments and accessible to both providers and consumers of healthcare. Concurrently, medical students will be complete digital natives who have literally grown up with the Internet and will enter practice early in the next decade when the projected changes in practice approach maturity. This essay describes three competencies linked to this evolving information environment-(1) knowing what you do and don't know, (2) ability to ask a good question, and (3) skills in evaluating and weighing evidence-and suggests educational approaches to promote student mastery of each competency. Shifting medical education to address these competencies will call into question many current methods but may be essential to fully prepare trainees for optimal practice in the future.

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