UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION IN MEDICAL INFORMATICS
1985 we introduced a extracurricular teaching program for the
undergraduate course of medicine in the medical college of the State
University of Campinas, one of the three íoneering programs of its kind
in Brazil and Latin America. The course director (R.M.E.S.) was
entirely responsible for the
course's creation, search for funding, development of the teaching
software packages, exercises, texts, etc., as well as theoretical
classes, mentoring and tutoring. Several assistant instructors were
trained and helped with ministering the practical lab classes and
program was composed of two successive and interrelated theoretical and
practical disciplines to students of first to sixth semesters of the
medical course (which in Brazil, has the duration of 12 semesters,
including the undergraduate internship in the last year).
These courses were offered once a week. on a half period (3 hours), during the entire teaching semester.
first course was meant to be a general introduction to computers and to
develop computer skills and awareness and usage of basic resources,
such as operation of computers, operating system (Windows) and the
Windows Office package of productivy tools (Word, Excel and Access),
internet and web use and surfing, and the use and management of medical
bibliographic searches. It was offered always in the first semester of
the year, and was a prerequisite for the second course, for students
with litttle or no basic knowledge of computers.
second course was devoted to several practical applications of
computers to medicine, and was intensely based on the hands-on use of
many software packages developed by us in the Center for Biomedical
Informatics (a separate interdisciplinary and interfaculty center) for
the express purpose of constituting a practical laboratory supporting
teaching and learning. This course was always offered in the year's
second semester. Students who already could testify for an adequate
level of computer use knowledge were dispensed of taking MD-003 and
take MD-005 directly
courses were offered uninterruptedly from 1985 to 2002 (17 years).
Class size was limited to 16 to 20 students, due to the computer
laboratory which was made available by the Center of Biomedical
Informatics, and later, by the Medical School'a Didactic Support Center.
Initially (1985 to 1992), we used CPM-based 8 bit computers, and later on, IBM PC-based 16 bits computers.
1997, we developed a proprietary Web-based support site, containing the
teaching program, on-liine bibliography and internet study resources,
downloadable software example packages and exercise data files, the
syllabus, course calendar and communication tools (email and web
forum). Starting 2001, we began to use a LMS (Learning Management
System) developed by the University Computer Center (TelEduc), with
many more tools and resources. Eventually, all the course sites were
ported to the Moodle LMS.
time, as more and more students were admitted to the Medical School
with a reasonable level of knowledge of computers, MD-003 was
eventually phased out, and we offered MD-005 only, twice per year.
1998 we extended and adapted the MD-005 course to the undergraduate
nursing curriculum, thus becoming a separate course, ministered in
collaboration with a nursing professor colleague. This course was, and
still is, mandatory.
Copyright © 1998 by Renato M. E. Sabbatini, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil - All rights reserved.