Medical students Google away for imaging data

March 4, 2008

Medical students Google away for imaging data

Radiologists seeking a specific piece of medical information online should consider initiating searches with Google, which provides a list of medical resources likely to contain the information needed, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Elliot Fishman, director of diagnostic radiology and body CT, and colleagues designed a test to determine which web resources best delivered accurate information to medical students most efficiently. Efficiency was based on the number of links one had to view. An analysis of the results from 86 medical students who completed the protocol showed that Google was more efficient compared with all alternatives (mean links 1.5 versus 1.94, p = 0.002). Following a Google search, 89% of end-sites identified that provided correct answers were medical websites. Fishman presented findings at the 2007 RSNA meeting.

“Some students who didn’t use Google prior to the test switched afterwards,” he said.