Access, sources and value of new medical information: views of final year medical students at the University of Nairobi.
Gituma A., Masika M., Muchangi E., Nyagah L., Otieno V., Irimu G., Wasunna A., Ndiritu M., English M.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate final year medical students' access to new medical information. METHOD: Cross-sectional survey of final year medical students at the University of Nairobi using anonymous, self-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Questionnaires were distributed to 85% of a possible 343 students and returned by 44% (152). Half reported having accessed some form of new medical information within the previous 12 months, most commonly from books and the internet. Few students reported regular access; and specific, new journal articles were rarely accessed. Absence of internet facilities, slow internet speed and cost impeded access to literature; and current training seems rarely to encourage students to seek new information. CONCLUSION: Almost half the students had not accessed any new medical information in their final year in medical school. This means they are ill prepared for a career that may increasingly demand life-long, self-learning.