On one hand, we live in the digital age; on the other, we have an educational history steeped in print. To examine how effectively digital technology is being used to educate aesthetic surgery residents, study authors Joshua T. Waltzman, M.D., et al., designed a survey to assess residents’ use of technology, help program directors allocate financial resources, and help to forecast the future of technology and education.
The 17-question online survey was emailed to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) resident/fellow members. The survey evaluated current use of technology, preferred use of educational resources and future directions. Ample space was allocated for free response questions.
A total of 40% of the 447 survey recipients responded. Some findings include:
- 86.5% of residents own iPhones, while 90% own tablets
- Residents rely heavily on smartphone technology every day
- 60% of residents use print textbooks on a weekly basis
- 42% of residents use the Plastic Surgery Education Network on a weekly basis
- 78% of residents either were not aware of or never had used the “readily available digital aesthetic resource” (RADAR) iPad app
“In order to remain at the forefront of education, we as a specialty need to adapt with technology,” the authors write. “Program directors should support integrating technology with electronic access to educational materials. There exists an opportunity in resident education to increase awareness and utilization of the RADAR Resource. The future of plastic surgery education will be reliant on platforms like the iPhone and iPad to conveniently provide large volumes of information with only a finger touch.”