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Pediatric Computer-Assisted Instruction

Larry W. Desch, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(3):303-304. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170150083015.
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The PAST 10 to 15 years have seen an unprecedented expansion of technological advancements in medicine. Who could have predicted years ago, for example, that a technique that you learned about in your college chemistry or physics class—nuclear magnetic resonance—would be developed into an amazing way to look inside a living person? No physician would willingly choose to return to those days before these advances.

This computerized technological revolution has surprisingly had only a small impact on medical education. Most of the methods of medical student and resident education remain essentially unchanged from those of decades before. This has occurred despite numerous recommendations for change, such as for more problembased learning approaches.

Although many excellent examples of medical computer-assisted instruction (CAI) programs exist, their use continues to remain very limited. Research on their effectiveness is even more uncommon. In several ways, perhaps, this "dragging of feet" was good for medical


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