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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-93

How are our medical students using the computer and internet? A study from a medical college of north India

1 Department of Community Medicine, UCMS and GTBH, Delhi, India
2 Subharti Medical College, Meerut, India

Correspondence Address:
Khan Amir Maroof
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi-110095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.103549

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Background: In today's world, use of Internet has become indispensable. Medical students have much to gain from the Internet technology that has revolutionized the medical field. There is a very rapid change in the way communication technology is being handled and our medical students should also be ready to embrace it. Very few studies have been done on this topic in India. The aim was to find out the knowledge, practice, and barriers of Internet use among the medical undergraduates of Subharti Medical College, Meerut. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the MBBS students belonging to the first, second, third, and fourth years of their course during August to October 2009. A pretested questionnaire was used collecting information on their Internet usage patterns, knowledge about information technology, and barriers to using it. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel and appropriate statistical tests were applied for analysis. Results: The proportion of respondents having a laptop were more in cohort of students belonging to the admission year 2009 (65.8%) followed by 2008 (54.7%), 2007 (53.0%), and 2006 (38.0%), i.e., a gradual increase in newer cohorts. About half (57.4%) of the students had some sort of formal training in computer and Internet use. Knowledge about Internet was more among the junior cohorts compared to the senior cohorts (P<0.0001). Only about one-fifths of the respondents used Internet for searching literature for projects from medical journals on the Internet. Majority of the respondents accessed Internet for less than 3 hours per week. About one-tenth (8.0%) of the students felt that Internet is totally useless in medical field. The major barrier (54.4% of the respondents) to using Internet was lack of time. Conclusions: Further research should focus on designing and implementing computer and Internet training for medical students.

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