Document Type


Publication Date

March 2003


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Academic Exchange Quarterly, 7(1):11-16, Spring 2003. Copyright 2003 by the authors.


At Thomas Jefferson University, Academic Information Services and Research (AISR), has designed a required online Medical Informatics course for 230 first year medical students. The course is designed to demonstrate the need for lifelong-learning skills, to train students in how to ask the appropriate questions to find an answer to their information needs, and to instill an awareness of the various types of information sources available to them and the skills to use these resources.

The entire medical informatics course is completed online. Each student must complete a computing survey, a pre-test, two case studies, and a post-test. A common misconception among both students and administration is that because students are now more familiar with searching due to the World Wide Web they are automatically able to also search the scientific literature for answers to their questions. Based on data from the computing surveys, post-course evaluations and the answers from one question from the case studies, this paper will demonstrate the continued need for teaching Medical Informatics to medical students, and their reactions to learning medical informatics online.