Resident iPad use: has it really changed the game?

J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Feb;11(2):180-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2013.04.017. Epub 2013 Jun 25.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess residents' usage patterns and opinions of the iPad as a tool for radiology education and clinical practice at an academic medical center.

Methods: All 38 radiology residents in our radiology program (postgraduate years 2 to 5) were provided with iPad 2 tablets and subscriptions to e-Anatomy and STATdx. After 6 months of device use, residents were surveyed to assess their opinions regarding the technology as a tool for education and clinical practice.

Results: A total of 36 residents (95%) completed the survey. Eighty-six percent reported daily iPad use. Radiology-specific applications, particularly e-Anatomy, were used weekly or daily by 88% of respondents. Most preferred to read journal articles on the iPad (70%), but the number of respondents preferring to read textbooks on the iPad (48.5%) compared with the traditional bound form (48.5%) was evenly divided. Residents were also divided on the clinical utility of the iPad. Most had not used the iPad to view radiologic examinations (75%). Fewer than half (47%) used their iPads during readout. Finally, only 12% had used the iPad to edit dictated reports.

Conclusions: The iPad has generated excitement within the radiology community, particularly among resident educators, who are increasingly recognizing the unique needs of "millennial learners." This study showed that the majority of residents at the authors' institution have incorporated the iPad as an educational tool and use it as a learning aid. Incorporation of the iPad into clinical workflow has been less pronounced.

Keywords: iPad; resident education; tablet.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Boston
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Computers, Handheld / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiology / education*
  • Radiology / statistics & numerical data