We have updated our original Stanford School of Medicine article to include the school’s official press release about the launch of the iPad.  The press release comes almost a week after we originally reported on the story. So basically, Stanford appears to be leaving it up to students on how to use their iPad. It appears the UC Irvine School of Medicine is taking a more direct approach and actually implementing the iPad into their curriculum.

“We really don’t know yet how the incoming medical students will use them,” said Henry Lowe, MD, senior associate dean for information resources and technology. But, as a physician using an iPad himself, he’s found the device to be extremely helpful and believes it is growing in popularity among doctors.

“Physicians are a mobile group,” Lowe said. “They’re moving around from clinic to clinic, from patient to patient. … I’ve seen a variety of reports from across the country saying that physicians have seized on the iPad as a helpful device.”

The core goal of the iPad initiative is to improve the student learning experience. The decision to provide the devices was prompted by a desire to give students flexible access to the content that they need whether it is a virtual cadaver in dissection lab, annotated lecture slides and videos in the classroom, or journal articles for evidence-based practice in clinic.

“We want to explore the use of iPads and other technologies to help students access the enormous amount of medical knowledge that is being produced constantly,” said Charles Prober, MD, the school’s senior associate dean for medical education. “Part of the challenge facing medical students, and all doctors, is the overwhelming amount of information. Devices like the iPad may be able to help users access that pool of knowledge.”

Either way, it the iPad has firmly gained a presence as a key tool for medical education. The Stanford Daily has a good feature on how this story has played out as well.