Medical learning applications used by undergraduate medical students in Cluj-Napoca: a cross-sectional survey
Introduction: This study explored the utility and attitude towards medical learning applications (MLA) among undergraduate students (general medicine) in Cluj-Napoca and the use of these apps in finding solutions to five case-based medical scenarios. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional design using an online survey was conducted between June 8th and July 19th, 2019. The English/Romanian students were personally invited to participate in the survey via social media platforms (Facebook/WhatsApp student groups). A three-section questionnaire was developed to anonymously collect demographic data, study habits and the answers to the five case-based medical scenarios. Results: Ninety-three students between the age of 19 and 50 (75% younger than 25 years, 54.5% males) participated. Most of the responding students (81.7%) were in the clinical years of study and studied up to 3 hours per day (67.7%). The use of at least one MLA was reported by 54.8%, while 18.3% of these use MLA ≥2 hours per day. The MLA were mainly used for studying throughout the semester (70.1%), 29.9% used MLA only for their exam preparation. The top-three MLA were ‘Amboss’ (34/88), ‘Medscape’ (10/88) and ‘Dr. Najeeb Lectures’ (7/88). In most of the cases the students paid for the MLA (62.7%). The maximum obtainable score (6 points) in the clinical cases was reached only by 3 students without significant differences either between the scores of those students who used or not used resources to find the case solutions (Mann-Whitney test P=0.594, median of correct answers = 3 for both groups), or in the scores of those who use or does not use MLA for learning (P=0.788, median of correct answers = 3 for both groups). Conclusion: More than half of the participating students used MLA but this is not reflected in the number of correctly answered clinical cases.