Computer knowledge amongst clinical year medical students in a resource poor setting
Objective: To study the computer knowledge and desires of clinical year medical students at one of the oldest and largest medical schools in Nigeria. Design: A survey using validated structured questionnaires. Setting: Medical school of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. Subjects: Two hundred and thirty seven clinical year (4th, 5th and 6th years) medical students. Outcome measures: Computer knowledge, mode of acquiring computer knowledge, regular access to computer, desire for inclusion of computer training in curriculum. Results: One hundred twenty (50.6%) students had knowledge of computer technology and it use. Of these, 108 (90%) had no regular access to a computer and none owned a computer; only 32 (26.7%) were sufficiently familiar with computer tools to perform advanced tasks, but 72 (60%) were comfortable with word processing. Seventy two of the 120 students acquired their computer knowledge through self-learning efforts while 45 (37.5%) attended short periods of formal training. Overall, 45.7% of males and 64.5% of females had computer knowledge. The main reason for lack of computer knowledge was lack of time and lack of access to a computer. Eighty percent of all students would like computer education to be included in medical school curriculum. Conclusion: Knowledge and use of computers amongst clinical year medical students in this setting is low. It is important that computer education be taught to the students to enhance their ability to use electronic information and communicate more effectively using computer resources.
African Health Science Vol. 8 (1) 2008: pp. 40-43