May 12, 2009

Necessary digital competencies for doctors

Dr. Anne Marie from the blog wishful thinking in medical education has challenged me:

Can you tell me some of what you think are the necessary digital competencies for a doctor graduating in 2-5 years time?

It is hard to tell. As a start, I think I must say I believe that the "blogosphere" is biased. I don't believe we are the ordinary internet users, we are technology geeks who are excited about the web 2.0 revolution. Maybe we are another population, the very tip of the Gaussian tail?

Some of my classmates had difficulties in sending email attachments, I am not kidding.

The BASIC digital competencies that come to my mind right now are:

- know the commands: control +c, +x, +v, +z

- basic email (attachments) and browser use (know how to set on/off cookies)

- search pubmed / OVID and be able to use the filters and the MyNCBI feature. Be able to login is with an academic proxy to access journals with subscription.

- know what is RSS and how it makes you save time not going on every single website, know how to use efficiently a feed client.

What do you think about this?

Are you a digitially competent doctor? Do you need to be?

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  1. Time will come when patient notes are digitalised - this already happens in a variety of public health systems across Europe (eg Finland is one I'm familiar with). A network is created which both hospital docs and NHS GPs can access and update. This would obviously require quite a level of IT competence.

    Video conferencing might become important soon, both between doctors for consultations, as well as with patients.

    Use of PACS, digital request forms etc all require some IT knowhow.

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