OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of an online lecture versus a live lecture on screening given to medical students who are participating in an outpatient clerkship.
DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, controlled study.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Ninety-five senior medical students in a primary care medicine clerkship based at university and distant clinic sites.
INTERVENTION AND MEASUREMENTS: Forty-eight medical students were randomized to the live lecture on screening (live lecture group), and forty-seven medical students were randomized to the online lecture on screening (online lecture group). Outcome measures included students' knowledge, use of time, and satisfaction with the lecture experience.
RESULTS: Compared to students in the live lecture group, students in the online lecture group demonstrated equal post-intervention knowledge of screening (P = .91) and expended 50 minutes less time to complete the lecture. Online lecture students who used the audio feed of the lecture were equally satisfied with the lecture as the live lecture students. Without the audio feed, online lecture students were less satisfied.
CONCLUSIONS: An online lecture on screening is a feasible, efficient, and effective method to teach students on outpatient clerkships about principles of screening.