Recently, I've had the opportunity to chat with medical students who've been using the new Apple iPad to enhance their education. Why is the iPad so useful for medical students? The main reason is because the medical school curriculum is based on a significant amount of hands-on learning. Gross anatomy isn't the only class where you're in the lab. However, it's a good example where multimedia devices like the iPad can enhance learning.
The iPad is also great for medical students who may be struggling with physiology. It can be difficult to understand all the principles outline in a textbook. However, the minute you begin to view the physiologic changes in the heart or the lungs on a multimedia device, physiology comes to life. Learning reaches a whole new level when you're using multimedia.
So, do medical students think that the iPad is enhancing their education? The iPad isn't simply for those who wish to take notes during class. It can enhance the learning experience and help students through some of the most difficult classes in medical school. I'm sure that over the next 1 or 2 years, we'll see some published data on the use of the iPad in medical school. Who's going to fund such a study? Apple!