Friday, December 11, 2015

Dr. Husain at MAC-MLA - free meducation

In October I attended the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Medical Library Assn conference.  I presented on one of my projects, supporting online Kinesiology doctoral students.  I also picked up some interesting ideas.

Dr. Itifat Husain, founder of, discussed free medical apps and other info in medical education.  He reported heavy use of smartphones among the medical community, with over 75% of medical students and physicians using iOS devices.  His advice could have come from our own information literacy sessions "They key is to use Google and Wikipedia appropriately. Look at the references and summaries to get you into PubMed." 

Free Medical App - Legit or Not? 
  • Last updated? If more than 18 months, it might be an orphan app
  • App developer - is it a medical society or well known health care provider? what other apps have they developed?
  • Clear, detailed descriptions available before download?
  • Is there a landing page? not just a download page in iTunes or other app store or facebook page
  • References included so that you can verify the content?
  • iTunes and Google Play ratings are useless
The #FOAM movement
Free Open Access MEducation
  • free resources with open commentary: blogs, tweets, online videos, etc.
  • coin was termed by emergency physicians
  • advantages: free, appealing, rapid dissemination (authors don't want to wait months to years for traditional publication process)
  •  disadvantage: at this point a lot of the content is unusual/attention gathering rather than core foundational topics
  • concerns: sustainable? (MDs doing this in spare time); students shouldn't try to use FOAM w/out solid foundational knowledge
Peer review debate
     public comments are a form of "post publication" peer review
    a more formal open peer review process like the one being promoted at Academic Life in Medicine

Dr. Husain's predictions
  • digital medicine tools like these will be a core part of med ed curriculum  
  • medical textbook use will decline, but there is still be a need for foundational knowledge sources
Yes, this movement has spread to nursing!

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