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Letters
Paediatricians sharing expertise in web-based skills to aid clinical care
  1. J-P Smith
  1. Correspondence to J-P Smith, Paediatrics ST4, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW, UK; jposmith{at}gmail.com

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Use of the internet to improve our clinical care is a vital skill, and one with which many privately struggle. I was interested by the article by Prendiville et al1 as I recently conducted a similar survey among paediatric colleagues at Torbay Hospital. I used a questionnaire to ask 15 registrars and consultants about: (a) their current practice in seeking up-to-date medical information online; (b) specific websites that were useful in their work life; (c) websites they recommend to patients; and (d) their use of online learning. My aim was to share expertise and experience within the department. I discovered that the majority of my paediatric colleagues were using the internet regularly, resourcefully and confidently, often with limited training. There was, however, a marked variety in practice, a result which I presented back to the department. The exercise of learning from each other was welcomed by all, and as a trainee I felt enlightened by the process. Developing skills to use the internet effectively are clearly defined in the MRCPCH curriculum, and also pose an on-going challenge for more experienced doctors.2 Rather than be daunted by this, I would rather consider the significant potential of the internet to help us look after patients better. In my view, not only should trainees regularly partake in information technology training but they should also use the ever-expanding resources available online as learning tools and as an adjunct to more traditional teaching methods.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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