UA College of Medicine – Tucson initiates ‘ArizonaMed iPad Pilot Project’ with first-year medical students in the Class of 2015

Saturday, July 30, 2011 - 2:00pm to 6:00pm
One of the few medical schools in the country evaluating the use of tablets in medical student education
Incoming medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson will “go paperless” when the College initiates the ArizonaMed iPad Pilot Project on Saturday, July 30, hourly, beginning at 2 p.m. (last session ends at 6 p.m.), in the Arizona Health Sciences Library, Java City lounge, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The College is one of the few medical schools in the country evaluating the feasibility and usefulness of tablets in medical student education.
The project will be initiated in four hour-long sessions that will repeat at the top of each hour. The students have been divided into four groups, one group for each session. The first half hour will include three speakers:
·       Kevin Moynahan, MD, FACP, deputy dean for education,UA College of Medicine, will welcome the students and introduce the other speakers.
·       Raja Narayan, second-year student at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine (which issued iPads to their first-year students in 2010), will discuss how the iPad contributed to his successful first year in medical school.
·       Bill Bowman, Apple Inc., will demonstrate the iPad’s use in all aspects of medical education.
During the second half-hour, each student will receive an Apple iPad 2 and instruction on its set-up and use, and have opportunities to ask questions of the speakers.
“We are preparing our students for the future,” says Steve Goldschmid, MD, UA College of Medicine dean and vice chair, UA Healthcare Board of Directors. “Our students need to be able to quickly access the continually increasing amount of medical information and be equipped for medical practices that are experiencing rapid changes in technology.”
The UA College of Medicine is interested in the use of tablets in medical education for several reasons, says Dr. Moynahan.
“The ArizonaMed curriculum was designed to be paperless, but until now the existing options for students – laptops or tablet laptops – have not been adequate. With the rise of tablets we finally can move to a paperless curriculum,” he says.
“Tablets allow manipulation and sharing of data that eventually will enhance our innovative and interactive curriculum,” he adds. “Tablets offer superior flexibility for the tasks that students perform regularly: note taking, research, studying and managing calendars and to-do lists. The current generation of students is ready for this new technology – and they will help develop how this technology is used in their education.”
In addition, Dr. Moynahan notes, students entering medical school most likely will use tablets in their clinical careers as they care for patients. “Exposure to tablets now will allow students to be more effective as they begin to use them for clinical care.”
The four-year project is optional for the Class of 2015. Ninety-two percent of the students (107 of 116) opted to receive an iPad instead of the printed syllabi – amounting to thousands of pages – for the first and second year of the ArizonaMed curriculum.
The students are excited to replace paper with the iPad, says Michael Griffith, iPad Pilot Project manager and associate director of Arizona Health Sciences BioCommunications. “The students have said they are looking forward to using the iPad to organize and access the vast amount of information that makes up their learning materials. They want to be able to share notes easily with classmates, search through all their notes and work with interactive textbooks with features like 3D animations and self quizzes.”
“The big thing seems to be that they know they will be able to study anywhere and anytime without having to take a big notebook, a heavy textbook and office supplies with them.”