Abstract

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.

Keywords

Medical Learning Application (MLA), Education, Medical, Undergraduate, Problem-Based Learning