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Mind over Matter: Is Your Gadget Better than Your Brain?

Submitted by on August 26, 2013 – 8:58 PM

webNothing is wrong about the rapid growth of the electronic media, the internet and different types of modern gadgets. All of them are for the sake of human pleasure and comfort. But when those gadgets start to defeat us, conquer us by making us dependent, here we need to correct the position of those gadgets in our life. At the end of my medical study, I saw through the mirror and tried to remember everything that I learnt.


I asked myself, “Am I ready to go to the next phase, clinical practice in the hospital?” All I wanted to hear was the voice saying that I was ready, but I was speechless. Every time we had tutorial that consisted of discussions about the clinical case, I used to prepare the materials on my handwritten note. Meanwhile, some people did not bring anything, yet still acted confidently.


Then I asked them, “Why don’t you bring any learning sources for the discussion?” They said easily while grabbing their gadgets that they could access and download all answers during the discussions using those. Everyone in the group seemed to talk about medicine actively as if it came from their thoughts, but actually they only read what they found instantly from the gadget they brought with them. I don’t say it is a bad thing, having those sophisticated gadgets.


Once again, we need to put them in proper position in our learning process. We should remember that someday those gadgets could be broken, even lost. Now, try to put ourselves as a patient, not a doctor. Do we really want to be treated by gadgets and not a human doctor?


Are we able to accept the performance of a doctor who treats a patient by looking into his gadget for some moments, not with his own knowledge? We should not forget that the most important thing for us, doctors, is our prior knowledge. This thing can only be obtained from the medical knowledge that we try to find, understand, then appraise, after that, memorize in our brain. Just by putting the gadgets as tools to get information instantly, we will remember nothing in the future.


What we should do is to bring the sophisticated gadgets as imperfect learning tools, we learn from it only in the proper moments, especially in our learning time, our leisure time, while waiting for an appointment, or looking for evidence based medicine, yet we still analyze the contents of the information, instead of putting a whole trust in it. Lastly, remember that those gadgets are not our second brain; we can use them to prepare a discussion. But taking information instantly during the discussion, then speaking about it as if it came from our brain, I don’t think it is a brilliant performance.


About the Author: Estianna Khoirunnisa is studying medicine in Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She loves research and some of her research has been accepted in oral or poster presentation in international conferences including Leiden Medical Student Conference and Korea-Japan Joint Stroke Conference. She can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]

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