Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are you a digitially competent doctor? Do you need to be?

I was talking to a colleague in the last few days about digital competencies. He wondered if we should be exploring developing a set of competencies for medical students.

I started this blog more than 6 months ago as part of my learning journey on the use of web 2.0 (or whatever term you prefer) technologies and to meet other people who were on the same journey in medical education. I know that I could not yet say what the competencies needed for medicine are. I work with and know many good doctors providing good quality care and they do not blog, or use social networks, or collaborate online in wikis, or use rss feeds, or save or share links in social bookmarking tools. Would they be better doctors if they did?

And if I am not competent yet myself how could I decide that these, or others, are areas which students need to be competent in. How could I assess if they are competent?

Yesterday I was co-ordinating 3rd year exams assessing students skills in clinical examinations. Competency in clinical examination has been regarded as essential for doctors for many years. Maybe in the future it will be irrelevant. But for the moment we, as a profession, hold that it is important.

Will we ever have the same agreement about digital competency?

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