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Wiechmann Honored as Apple Distinguished Educator

Dr. Warren Wiechmann

Dr. Warren Wiechmann, a UC Irvine emergency medical physician who spearheaded the School of Medicine's innovative iPad program, has been chosen an Apple Distinguished Educator for 2013. He is joining a select group of over 2,000 educational professionals worldwide who are passionately committed to the promise of educational technology to improve teaching and learning.

Under Wiechmann's leadership, UC Irvine's medical school became the first in the nation to integrate the iPad into medical education, putting at students' fingertips all the information they need to read, study or review. The tablets also provide podcasts of lectures and a wealth of other instructional materials assembled for students' course and clinical work. This multimedia approach has engendered a rich educational environment that accommodates all modes of learning, especially small group sessions.

"Dr. Wiechmann's dedication to and knowledge of innovative digital approaches to transforming medical education place him and his colleagues, Mary Frances Ypma-Wong and Julie Youm, among a select few educators across the country," said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

"His willingness to share his knowledge with so many other universities is also exemplary. He is truly very deserving of the Apple Distinguished Educator recognition."

The iPad program is part of the UC Irvine School of Medicine's unique iMedEd Initiative, which is committed to employing current digital technology in order to expand and improve the traditional medical school curriculum by employing iPads, portable point-of-care ultrasound and advanced medical simulation training. For these advances, the iMedEd Initiative was chosen as a 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program.

Under Dean Clayman's guidance and through the generous support of John Tu, since 2010, all incoming UC Irvine medical students have received fully-loaded iPads with their first-year's curriculum — the program is 100 percent philanthropically supported — with further curriculum added each year.

The coming academic year marks the first one in which all four years of UC Irvine's medical students will have iMedEd Initiative iPads; for the third- and fourth-year students, their iPads have now been adapted for clinical training and are compatible with the electronic medical record.

Wiechmann has become a recognized leader in advancing tablet-based instruction. He leads a mobile working group of education representatives from the more than two-dozen U.S. medical schools that have incorporated iPads into their curriculum. He regularly speaks about the use of tablet technology in medical education, and has recently led a national discussion on the issue at the Association of American Medical Colleges conference in Austin, Texas, as well as serving as the keynote speaker for the inaugural Mobile Computing in Medical Education Conference in Indiana and as an invited speaker at the 2013 TEDxUCIrvine.

He also has served on the advisory board for MacHealthcare.org and uses his blog and Twitter to share innovative applications of technology in healthcare and healthcare education.

Wiechmann is the course director for an innovative Health 2.0 and Digital Literacy course at UC Irvine that introduces students to the impact of the digital revolution on healthcare and prepares them for the challenges of practicing medicine in this new digital era.

"Our students' enthusiasm and willingness to discover new learning modalities is unparalleled, and they are key to the success of iMedEd," said Wiechmann, an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine and faculty director of the Instructional Technologies Group, which oversees iMedEd.

"It's extremely gratifying to see our students apply technology in innovative ways because we strongly believe that familiarity and comfort with technology will be essential for them to become skilled physicians in this new digital era of medicine."

 

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