Analogy between the use of the Calculator and the Tablet sheds light on how we should train our new Physicians

It really wasn’t that long ago that engineers, scientists and other professionals needed to do complex calculations by hand or slide rule. Once the calculator and computer were invented this activity became obsolete almost overnight, in favour of machines that were much faster and more precise.

In my opinion, the same should apply to the access of up-to-date information on computers tablets and similar mobile devices. They are more efficient than just relying on our memory. By doing this, we not only have quick access to credible information but we also get up to date knowledge. I see this application particularly important in the practice of Medicine. Many of the top medical textbooks are becoming available on mobile devices. I think that even if we have a good personal knowledge of medical information, it is good practice to always access up to date and reliable data with this technology. This should improve the quality of patient care.

By saying this, the training of new physicians should emphasize deep understanding of the information and refining the medical judgment instead of just remembering the information.

Adolfo Cotter, MD

Oct 05/2012

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