Radiology programs would benefit from incorporating tablet devices into education of residents

Radiology programs and their residents would benefit from incorporating tablet devices, like the iPad, into residency education, according to a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The methods used to learn and teach radiology are evolving, and is playing a role. It is widely expected that tablet devices will bring change to radiology education. However, few studies have examined the impact of on radiology residency education.

A multi-institutional survey study was conducted among radiology residents across the United States from June 13 to July 5, 2011, with a total of 308 participants. The survey questionnaire consisted of 12 questions and assessed the type of institution, the levels of training of the and book funds allocated to residents. It also assessed the residents' study habits, access to portable devices and use of printed and electronic radiology resources.

Study results showed considerable use of online resources and mobile devices among radiology residents, with 74 percent owning and 37 percent owning tablet devices. Respondents indicated that they spend nearly an equal amount of time learning radiology from printed textbooks as they do from electronic resources. Eighty-one percent of respondents believe that they would spend more time learning radiology if provided with a tablet device.

"Tablet technology has the potential to enhance the way radiology is studied and taught. Benefits, such as more study time, may be obtained by radiology programs that incorporate tablet devices into the education of their residents. However, further studies would be helpful to objectively compare the amount of time residents spend learning radiology before and after the ownership of tablet devices," said Aiham C. Korbage, MD, co-author of the study.

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