Title

Computers in surgical residencies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-1-1998

Journal

Current Surgery

Volume

55

Issue

9

Abstract

Computerized data management, or information technology (IT), seems less apparent in surgical residencies as compared with the systems being developed on college campuses. Through the use of a telephone survey of residency program coordinators, we sought to evaluate the depth of IT integration into surgical residencies compared with integration into undergraduate education. Thirty surgical residency programs were randomly selected for a telephone interview with the program coordinator. A total of six questions were asked regarding the use of computers in their program. The results of the survey indicate that the majority of surgical residency programs rank below undergraduate institutions with regard to the integration of IT into their educational system. Considerable efforts are needed to improve the surgical resident's access to IT. The following three-phased outline is a suggestion for integrating IT into a surgical residency program: Phase I, department-based data management; Phase II, network foundations; and Phase III, integrated networks. Computer technology is rapidly evolving and changing the practice of surgery. Residency programs should prepare their trainees for the use of IT. Integration of computerized data management into surgical residencies will improve not only resident education and effectiveness, but also translate into more responsible patient care.

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