I think that in the current age of “everything at one’s fingertips”, in the form of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the concept of lifelong learning has never been more important. How does a physician “keep up”? What are the skills that are important for physicians to have? Dr. Vartabedian has written extensively on the subject of the digital literacy that is needed for today’s physicians. Curating, collating, and how to find what one needs are skills that need to be taught, not only to students and residents, but also to practicing clinicians.
Given the plethora of sources available, I am seeing trainees more and more asking “what should I read/study?” This is interesting, since there never have been more resources available than in today’s age. I’d like to give just a few examples of tools that I find incredibly helpful.
[Full disclosure, I have no financial conflicts with any of these tools mentioned. My spouse is an emergency physician in community practice.]
Browzine. I use this resource on a mobile tablet through my institutional library subscription. It allows opportunity to get full text articles from most of the journals with which our library has a subscription. It is also great to review table of contents quickly, with fast linking to the full text if I want to read more.
NEJM Knowledge+. This resource is a way to review content for internal medicine (and family medicine) through adaptive learning, which is very unique. I think of it as “smart testing”, whereby one inputs both answers to multiple choice questions, as well as her/his confidence in the answer provided. Here is a link to an explanation on this type of learning. I have used my own account to choose questions for residents during education conferences, and the engagement from the residents has been quite impressive. There is also an opportunity to purchase an account for an entire residency program.
ALiEM: this is a compendium by emergency medicine specialists which is an incredible resource for those interested in this field. It includes posts on staying healthy, links to apps pertinent to caring for patients in an emergency setting, resources for teaching in emergency medicine, as well as learning emergency medicine. I especially like the videos describing procedures in the ED setting. For those interested in improving their educator skills, the MEdiC links are incredibly helpful.
Twitter: there is an incredible community of practice related to medical educators on Twitter. I learn so much from folks I have met, and also many I have yet to meet in real life. A Thursday evening, 9 pm EDT Twitter chat on medical education topics is a great opportunity to start learning from others. For literature on this topic, see these two articles: one on using Twitter as a learning tool, and one on social media for lifelong learning.
I am curious what other online resources and technology that others are using for their own lifelong learning.