Medical students are digital, but not necessarily mobile

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Compas's May white paper about a migration to digital over print got some added ballast from a September study released by Athenahealth about the new wave of medical professionals. In short: medical students are digital, but like other trends we've seen among HCPs, digital does not always have to mean mobile.

Among the findings: 66% use digital clinical references as a go-to, but only 35% of those same doctors will make their first digital search through a mobile device. Significantly lagging: relying on peers. Just 21% of the surveyed medical students said their first stop for clinical information would be a colleague or professor. Tablets are also being used by around 54% of the surveyed medical students, a number that needs a bit of qualification, in that 18% of that group are required to use tablets, while 82% use them because they want to.

These findings track with an earlier ePocrates mobile trends report that that found clinicians rely heavily on mobile devices for clinical information and contacting colleagues, with smartphones edging out tablets, and desktops remaining a foundational digital resource.

Medical students also indicated a strong sense of what was an appropriate use of technology between HCPs and patients: 82% said they would recommend apps to patients, but 91% said it was unacceptable to friend a patient on Facebook.
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