New York: Believe it or not! iPods make better doctors.
Two years ago, Dr Michael Barrett had a “cool idea” for taking his Temple University medical school classes into the high-tech future-- or so he thought. He’d been teaching students to recognize the distinctive sounds of heart murmurs by playing recordings in class, according to Newsweek.
“We’d give a one-hour lecture, play each sound for them, and say, ‘That’s your murmur, guys,´” he recalls. “Then they’d look at us blankly and file out of the room.”
Barrett’s idea was to give his students CDs loaded with heart sounds to listen to at home. That too garnered equally blank looks from his students.
“I was surprised,” he says, “but they were like, ‘Dr Barrett, nobody listens to CDs anymore.´”
Barrett didn’t own an iPod at the time, and he says that “90% of practicing doctors over 30 probably still don’t.” But his students do, and today they have beat-heavy tracks like “innocent systolic murmur,” “aortic regurgitation” and “mitral stenosis” at the top of their playlists.
They’ve put the so-called “heart songs” on repeat and listened to them at the gym, on their commutes, while walking around town.
In the process, apparently, they’ve become better doctors.
At the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology this weekend, Barrett reported that cardiology (or at least one component of it) can be taught by iPod.