What: The educational benefits and challenges of using electronic health records (EHRs) are becoming clearer. But in many cases, medical students do not have access to EHRs during their clinical rotations. That’s the primary reason the AAFP Commission on Education’s Subcommittee on Resident and Student Issues (SRSI), to which Hinkle, Hensley and Tucci belong, pushed for an AAFP policy encouraging medical student access to EHRs, published in spring 2012, that states: “Adequate medical student training depends on a student’s ability to access relevant information available to other members of the care team, to document findings, to communicate with other providers and to reflect independent clinical reasoning.”
Why: Many hospitals and clinics have not invested in modules for student access to EHRs. Leading physician educators feel that along with learning how to examine patients, using EHRs “is one of those essential medical skills” medical students need to succeed.