Nine medical schools that support mobile learning

By Brian Dolan

As smartphone and tablet usage by physicians continues to rise, medical schools are seeing the importance of incorporating these devices into their curriculum. Here's a list of nine med schools that either require students to purchase mobile devices or equip them with these devices along with a brief explanation of how these students are using the devices to further their study of medicine.

Brown Med

Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Incoming students at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School will be required to purchase iPad 2s as part of their curriculum. They will also be required to purchase the Inkling e-book app to download medical textbooks. The three texts required for first year students include Essential Clinical Anatomy, Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, and Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. The Inkling app allows for purchase of individual textbook chapters, a business model that aims to save students money on expensive textbooks. Brown will still require purchase of the print versions, however, and the per-chapter model was not a deciding factor in the college's decision to go digital.

In Alpert Medical School's orientation materials online the school tells students that they will "most likely want a case, a stylus and possibly a keyboard for your iPad." The school encourages students to purchase any desired accessory, however, it also notes that "a team of students" is currently "testing different models" of devices and accessories as they create a manual for how medical students can best optimize their iPad use while in school.

UC Irvine School Of Medicine

UC Irvine

Last year, UC Irvine's class of 104 first-year medical students received free 16GB 3G iPads preloaded with first year medical textbooks. This year's class will receive iPad 2s, thanks to a $1.2 million anonymous donation funding the iMedEd Initiative at UCI. The medical textbooks in hardcover format total $70,000 in list price, while the digital editions cost around $40. The initiative will continue for at least another two years. Students have used the device to create new workflows, including annotating PDFs and incorporating diagrams from their texts.

"Additional content includes course outlines and handouts, slide presentations and essential first-year textbooks in a digital format that allows highlighting and notation. Students will have access to audio and video libraries as well as podcasts," the school stated in a release. "And technological advances such as digital stethoscopes and handheld ultrasound units are currently being configured."