Exploring e-readers to support clinical medical education: two case studies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Can e-readers loaded with medical textbooks and other relevant material benefit medical students, residents, and preceptors in clinical settings?


The settings are North Carolina community clinics served by Duke University Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital in Bryan, Texas, and Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.


DUKE UNIVERSITY: Twenty second-year medical students and fourteen family medicine clerkship preceptors used Kindle e-readers in clinics during eight months of rotations. Students and preceptors provided feedback through an anonymous online survey. Texas A&M University: Nine fourth-year medical students in an elective compared medical textbooks in print, online, and on a Kindle. Six residents at a local hospital completed an anonymous online survey after a three-week loan of a Kindle loaded with medical textbooks.


The e-reader's major advantages in clinical settings are portability and searchability. The selected e-reader's limitations include connection speed, navigation, and display. User preferences varied, but online resources were preferred. Participants suggested additional uses for Kindles in medical education.


The selected e-reader's limitations may be resolved with further development of the device. Investigation of other e-readers is needed. Criteria for evaluating e-readers in clinical settings should include portability, searchability, speed, navigation, and display. Research comparing e-readers and mobile devices in clinical education is also warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shurtz, S; von Isenburg, M

Published Date

  • April 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 110 - 117

PubMed ID

  • 21464848

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3066586

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-9439

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1536-5050

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3163/1536-5050.99.2.002


  • eng