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1.  Medical student attitudes toward video games and related new media technologies in medical education 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:50.
Studies in K-12 and college students show that their learning preferences have been strongly shaped by new media technologies like video games, virtual reality environments, the Internet, and social networks. However, there is no known research on medical students' game experiences or attitudes towards new media technologies in medical education. This investigation seeks to elucidate medical student experiences and attitudes, to see whether they warrant the development of new media teaching methods in medicine.
Medical students from two American universities participated. An anonymous, 30-item, cross-sectional survey addressed demographics, game play experience and attitudes on using new media technologies in medical education. Statistical analysis identified: 1) demographic characteristics; 2) differences between the two universities; 3) how video game play differs across gender, age, degree program and familiarity with computers; and 4) characteristics of students who play most frequently.
217 medical students participated. About half were female (53%). Respondents liked the idea of using technology to enhance healthcare education (98%), felt that education should make better use of new media technologies (96%), and believed that video games can have educational value (80%). A majority (77%) would use a multiplayer online healthcare simulation on their own time, provided that it helped them to accomplish an important goal. Men and women agreed that they were most inclined to use multiplayer simulations if they were fun (97%), and if they helped to develop skill in patient interactions (90%). However, there was significant gender dissonance over types of favorite games, the educational value of video games, and the desire to participate in games that realistically replicated the experience of clinical practice.
Overall, medical student respondents, including many who do not play video games, held highly favorable views about the use of video games and related new media technology in medical education. Significant gender differences in game play experience and attitudes may represent male video game design bias that stresses male cognitive aptitudes; medical educators hoping to create serious games that will appeal to both men and women must avoid this.
PMCID: PMC2908629  PMID: 20576125
2.  Factors considered by medical students when formulating their specialty preferences in Japan: findings from a qualitative study 
Little research addresses how medical students develop their choice of specialty training in Japan. The purpose of this research was to elucidate factors considered by Japanese medical students when formulating their specialty choice.
We conducted qualitative interviews with 25 Japanese medical students regarding factors influencing specialty preference and their views on roles of primary versus specialty care. We qualitatively analyzed the data to identify factors students consider when developing specialty preferences, to understand their views about primary and subspecialty care, and to construct models depicting the pathways to specialization.
Students mention factors such as illness in self or close others, respect for family member in the profession, preclinical experiences in the curriculum such as labs and dissection, and aspects of patient care such as the clinical atmosphere, charismatic role models, and doctor-patient communication as influential on their specialty preferences. Participating students could generally distinguish between subspecialty care and primary care, but not primary care and family medicine. Our analysis yields a "Two Career" model depicting how medical graduates can first train for hospital-based specialty practice, and then switch to mixed primary/specialty care outpatient practice years later without any requirement for systematic training in principles of primary care practice.
Preclinical and clinical experiences as well as role models are reported by Japanese students as influential factors when formulating their specialty preferences. Student understanding of family medicine as a discipline is low in Japan. Students with ultimate aspirations to practice outpatient primary care medicine do not need to commit to systematic primary care training after graduation. The Two Career model of specialization leaves the door open for medical graduates to enter primary care practice at anytime regardless of post-graduate residency training choice.
PMCID: PMC2072940  PMID: 17848194
3.  Lessons learned in developing family medicine residency training programs in Japan 
While family medicine is not well established as a discipline in Japan, a growing number of Japanese medical schools and training hospitals have recently started sougoushinryoubu (general medicine departments). Some of these departments are incorporating a family medicine approach to residency training. We sought to learn from family medicine pioneers of these programs lessons for developing residency training.
This qualitative project utilized a long interview research design. Questions focused on four topics: 1) circumstances when becoming chair/faculty member; 2) approach to starting the program; 3) how Western ideas of family medicine were incorporated; and 4) future directions. We analyzed the data using immersion/crystallization to identify recurring themes. From the transcribed data, we selected representative quotations to illustrate them. We verified the findings by emailing the participants and obtaining feedback.
Participants included: five chairpersons, two program directors, and three faculty members. We identified five lessons: 1) few people understand the basic concepts of family medicine; 2) developing a core curriculum is difficult; 3) start with undergraduates; 4) emphasize clinical skills; and 5) train in the community.
While organizational change is difficult, the identified lessons suggest issues that merit consideration when developing a family medicine training program. Lessons from complexity science could inform application of these insights in other countries and settings newly developing residency training.
PMCID: PMC1253513  PMID: 16162298

Results 1-3 (3)