Embracing technology : A mandatory transition

Being in contact with
medical students in the 21st century in Malaysia led to the
realisation that our young to-be-physicians still lack the affinity
to anything technological. Resorting to the conventional book and
paper with usually out-of-date medical textbooks and sporting bulky
pocket references in white coat pockets, may have been thought to
be a page from the past. Unfortunately, it appears that not many
are really using technology to their advantage. Sure many are on
facebook with some endlessly on Farmville, but is this the way of
using the internet in our daily professional lives? The Academia
needs to educate and encourage its students to utilise current
technological advances. In order to achieve that, the usually
archaic academic teaching staff themselves need to be familiar and
comfortable with using technology. It should no longer be confined
to the occasional use of google, email or the ever trustworthy
PowerPoint. We need to look at new ways of using technology to
advance our knowledge and also to improve our daily practice of
medicine. Learning from the electronic media is the future. This
mode of information gathering is fast, accurate and up to date. In
fact, essential gadgetry will probably include not only the
stethoscope but a PDA, and a laptop computer, maybe an iPad!
Encouraging the use of such gadgetry at the bedside may be too
revolutionary to some, but certainly can help improve patient care.
We can all testify to the inefficiencies of using a pen and paper
to list the clinical duties to be performed. Sometimes illegible
and many a times, misplaced, it can hamper the efficiency of
clinical care. Everyone needs to move with the times, from the
students and teachers up to the administrators of hospitals and
policymakers. If we are to keep pace with medical developments, we
need to invest in this infrastructure and develop a digital
mentality for many of our current and to-be physicians. Anything
less, and we will soon be obsolete.