Mastering Technology and Ensuring Access

Students receiving iPads

Medical students receiving their iPads

Advances in technology enable greater access to knowledge and support quality patient care. We must ensure that technology is used efficiently and access to knowledge and technology is not limited.

  • In 2011, we developed the Center for Experiential Learning, a service organization that will support all Medical Center educational activities and learning needs—from standardized patients to simulation. The consolidation of these services under one umbrella not only will improve access to educational tools, it will help faculty create new elements of the curriculum and new ways to teach and deliver knowledge. The center also will be the platform for modernization of educational space to provide the environment and technology for best practices in health education. 
  • We prepared for a leap to the iPad and a world of far fewer printed textbooks and papers and lighter backpacks for medical students. The iPad will increase the flexibility and ease of accessing information in the Double Helix curriculum of the School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as facilitate the exchange of information between medical students. With the iPad and other electronic resources, faculty can expand the library of available information and their tools of teaching. In March 2012, every medical student will receive an iPad.
  • The University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology created a joint master’s degree in medical informatics to address two crucial elements of health care reform in the United States—the widespread application of information technology to health care and the adoption of electronic health records. Six students enrolled in the new degree program in September. It is the first time that the universities have collaborated to offer a joint degree program. Students will gain a robust knowledge of medical practice by shadowing physicians, rotating through medical specialties, attending lectures on advances in medicine and completing class projects that showcase the student’s ability to creatively use technology to improve the practice of medicine. They will also obtain in-depth instruction in information technology and computer science.
  • For the fourth year in a row, the School of Nursing received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program to support the enrollment of students who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing. Since 2008, the School received $530,000 in scholarship funding from the foundation. The money aids students in the School’s accelerated program for non-nurses, helping to develop a diverse professional nursing workforce and strengthen the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders. The School is one of only 19 nursing schools in the country to receive the funding for all four years. With the foundation funding, the School in 2011 also introduced a Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS) that helps students develop learning strategies, study habits, critical thinking abilities, and career management skills that are pivotal to their academic performance and professional advancement. The Center also fosters positive connections and relationships between students and faculty that support students’ personal and professional growth and cultivate a lifelong commitment to learning, teaching, and research.