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Incoming UCI medical students to receive iPads

UCI’s School of Medicine uses digital technology to educate as part of the iMedEd Initiative.

By Karly BarkerPublished: August 02, 2011 02:08 PM

In conjunction with the UCI School of Medicine’s iMedEd Initiative, medical students will now receive an iPad as part of their learning materials. Traditionally, first-year medical students are given an inaugural white coat to mark their entrance into the medical profession.  At UCI students aren’t just getting the white coat – course outlines, notes, lecture slides and textbooks are all merged into one electronic device and given to students at an introductory ceremony.
"We are committed to using digital technology to benefit the education of our medical students," said Dr. Ralph Clayman, dean of UCI's School of Medicine. "It is our firm belief that the integration of these technologies into healthcare will be the wave of the future, and UC Irvine seeks to be a leader in preparing students for this future."

The 104 medical students in the entering class of 2015 will receive the iPad along with a white coat on Friday as part of UCI’s White Coat Ceremony. The University says a $1.2 million donation from John Tu, co-founder and CEO of Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology, will cover the iPad costs until 2015.  Friday’s ceremony marks the second year of the tablet program, which the School of Medicine boasts is one of the most comprehensive digital medical education programs in the country.

"Compared to every other school, UCI is far ahead on integrating technology into medical education," said Melody Besharati, an incoming medical student who'll receive an iPad at Friday's White Coat Ceremony. "I'm glad to be a part of it."

In addition to the iPad, the iMedEd Initiative boasts the West coast's first portable ultrasound training curriculum, as well as advanced medical simulation and telemedicine facilities. Dr. Warren Wiechmann, the school's director of instructional technologies, and his colleagues are working on incorporate digital microscopes and stethoscopes into the iPads in order to utilize three-dimensional human anatomy programs.

"Students have a much more personal stake in how content is developed and presented with the iPad platform," Wiechmann said, "and our faculty members are more eager to try new technologies to make content more immersive."

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