Incorporating “ICT” Training into Undergraduate Medical Curriculum:
An Online Survey assessing the opinions of Medical Students
Background: The huge relevance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in healthcare cannot be overemphasized. Despite the huge benefits associated with the use of ICT in healthcare, many medical schools (especially in the developing countries) are yet to incorporate ICT education as an academic course in their school curricula. This study aims to assess the opinions of medical students on the incorporation of ICT as an academic course into undergraduate medical curriculum.
Material and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional online survey of 135 medical students. Study data was collected using an e-questionnaire which explored the participants’: level of academic exposure to ICT education, usage of digital health products, perception of the relevance of digital technologies in healthcare, and opinions on the incorporation of ICT into undergraduate medical curriculum. Collected data was analyzed using SPSS version 23 software.
Results: Majority of the respondents were from developing countries (95.6%), 71.1% were 21 – 25 years old, 63.7% were females, and 47.4% were final year students. Not up to one-third (28.1%) of them had ever taken a course (or obtained a degree) that is related to ICT, 5.9% did not consider digital health technologies to be of relevance to healthcare, 91.1% were of the opinion that the future of healthcare is digital, 87.4% were enthusiastic about using and/or promoting digital health strategies, and 94.8% were of the opinion that medical schools should have ICT courses in their curriculum. However, there exists no statistically significant difference between the opinions of the respondents on the incorporation of ICT into medical curriculum and their: gender, age, country of residence, location of school, and academic level (p-values>0.05).
Conclusion: This study showed that the surveyed medical students’ opinions favored the incorporation of ICT as an academic course into the medical school curriculum.
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