Use of computers and the Internet by residents in US family medicine programmes

Richard V. King, Cassie L. Murphy-Cullen, Helen G. Mayo, Alice K. Marcee, Gregory W. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Computers, personal digital assistants (PDA), and the Internet are widely used as resources in medical education and clinical care. Educators who intend to incorporate these resources effectively into residency education programmes can benefit from understanding how residents currently use these tools, their skills, and their preferences. The researchers sent questionnaires to 306 US family medicine residency programmes for all of their residents to complete. Respondents were 1177 residents from 125 (41%) programmes. Access to a computer was reported by 95% of respondents. Of these, 97% of desktop and 89% of laptop computers could access the Internet. Residents accessed various educational and clinical resources. Half felt they had "intermediate" skills at Web searches, 23% had "some skills," and 27% were "quite skilled." Those under 30 years of age reported higher skill levels. Those who experienced a Web-based curriculum in medical school reported higher search skills and greater success in finding clinical information. Respondents preferred to use technology to supplement the didactic sessions offered in resident teaching conferences. Favourable conditions exist in family medicine residency programmes to implement a blend of traditional and technology-based learning experiences. These conditions include residents' experience, skills, and preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • attitude to computers
  • competency-based education
  • computer literacy
  • computers
  • curriculum
  • family medicine
  • graduate medical education
  • Internet
  • Internship and residency
  • medical informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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