Medical Education – From Traditional Learning Methods to E-Learning Methods
Keywords:Medical Education, Virtual Patient, E-learning, Hyperlink, Educational Methods
E-learning represents an educational system which provides information in electronic format. Nowadays, doctors and medical students can easily access scientific information by using new e-learning methods, as there are multiple multimedia formats that facilitate their development. From handbooks to the most recent research results, e-learning incorporates the whole content of medical information. The content can be visualized on a computer screen and other electronic devices such as laptops, tablets or mobile phones. Another advantage of the electronic learning method is the fact that hyperlinks can be provided. These connections enable the user to access another site where expressions and medical concepts are defined. With the development of technology, handbooks can be improved by attaching a hyperlink to a video of a patient with a specific pathology (such as flapping tremor), an x-ray that shows a fracture when hovering the mouse over it or a movie of the gastrointestinal absorption. Additionally, the virtual patient appeared as an educational method in medicine, which presents clinical cases through movies of medical consultations, doctor-patient conversations or written notes with images that show characteristic aspects of a case. Moreover, medical students and young doctors often lack rare pathologies in their practice. Thus, e-learning methods play an important role in the studying process, especially when a particular disease cannot be observed during clinical practice. Many authors tried to show the benefits of electronic learning in parallel with conventional methods. However, even if e-learning in medical education grants effectiveness, this method does not surpass conventional learning, which is characterized by doctor-patient interaction as in integral part of developing clinical judgement. The aim of this paper was to summarize the literature data on the development of e-learning methods used in medicine by students and medical doctors.
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