Medical Informatics Meets Medical Education

Reference: Shortliffe, E. H. Medical Informatics Meets Medical Education. 1995.

Abstract: Essentially all medical schools in the United States are making use of computers to assist with portions of their standard curriculum, and many have defined formal requirements for assuring that all medical students are "computer literate." The emphasis of such requirements is typically on familiarity with the machine itself, with word processing, databases, and electronic mail, and with bibliographic searching. However, although computers are commonly seen in or near the classrooms, in the library, and on the hospital wards, and although students increasingly use the machines in their traditional studies and for access to the literature and to clinical data, it is rare for medical informatics to be a subject of required study by students in the health sciences. Many observers believe that medical education should expose students to key concepts in medical informatics in order better to prepare them for the practice settings and responsibilities that they will encounter in their future careers. Health professionals obviously need to understand the proper use of biomedical knowledge and data-the core topics in medical informatics. Furthermore, they need to understand the capabilities and limitations of information technologies when applied in medicine, an inevitable element in the practice environments of the future.

Notes: Updated April 1995.

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