[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A PDA (personal digital assistant) program containing information on 193 laboratory tests was provided to students during the 8-week core clerkship in internal medicine. Students used the program at their own discretion. The number of times each test was accessed during the clerkship was recorded by the program's database. Ten tests were accessed by more than 40% of the students: serum enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase), electrolytes (sodium and potassium), renal function tests (urea and creatinine), and a plasma protein (albumin). The most frequently looked up test category was the CBC, followed by liver-related tests, plasma proteins, electrolytes, and autoantibodies. Students at the 2 hospitals where the clerkship was offered had similar test lookup patterns. We conclude that students seek information about laboratory tests that are frequently ordered and directly relevant to the diagnosis and management of their patients.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · American Journal of Clinical Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We provided a laboratory test program for the personal digital assistant (PDA) to a cohort of third year medical students during their internal medicine clerkship. At the end of each rotation, students were interviewed about their experience with the program, and tracking information was downloaded from their PDAs. Students found the program helpful and easy to use, accessed it more often during patient care activities than as a study aid, and considered the program a better way to learn about laboratory tests than formal teaching sessions. The program was accessed an average of 4 or 5 times per week, although individual use was highly variable. There was no relationship between end-of-clerkship examination scores and the number of tests that were accessed. The PDA program is an effective way to introduce laboratory facts and concepts into an internal medicine clerkship.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · American Journal of Clinical Pathology