Author(s): Ravi Kishore Polepalli1, Keshavamurthy Hassan Ramesh2
Internet has become a platform for recent advances, innovative learning methods and self-assessment. Medical students spend significant time using Internet for academic and non-academic purposes. There is a dearth of clear evidence regarding patterns of internet use among Indian Medical students. An internet usage patterns study in First Year Medical students would help identify the necessity to train students in Internet access in the initial phase of Medical course.
To assess the Internet usage patterns in First Year Indian Medical Students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional study in which 132 students studying in First Year undergraduate medical course at MVJ Medical College and Research Hospital, Bangalore, a cosmopolitan city in South India, participated. Data related to internet use was captured using a pretested questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using Microsoft Excel version 2007.
70% of students used internet for academic and non-academic purposes. Slow internet speed (31%) and lack of time (23%) were most common amongst impediments to internet use. Majority of students (57%) used internet for greater than 7 hours per week. Understanding a topic better (62%) seems to be most important motive for academic use of internet. 36% of students did not use any academic website.
First Year Indian Medical students spent significant amounts of time using internet for multiple purposes. There is a lack of awareness regarding academic websites and online animations among significant portion of students. Students in our study may be guided appropriately by Internet training sessions at the beginning of the Medical course to enable the best use of internet for academic purpose.