Background: Due to the diverse background of medical students in India and the different levels of knowledge and usage of computer, a prior assessment is necessary for improving use of computers in training tomorrow’s health professionals.

Objectives: To assess computer literacy and computer use among medical students of a private medical institution.

Methodology: In a cross-sectional study conducted in 2012, students of MBBS course participated. A prestructured questionnaire in paper format collecting detail information about background, resources and a computer use scoring system based on frequency of use of computer applications was administered. Measures of central tendency and dispersion were used along with analysis of variance (ANOVA) to analyze the data with the help of Epi Info and statistical package for social sciences (SPSS)

Results: A total of 524 students were surveyed of which 375 (71.5%) were local, from Mumbai, while 149 (28.5%) were from different states of India. Total 425 (81%) students gave history of having computer as a subject during schooling. Out of 149 nonlocal students, 42 (28.2%) were not exposed to computer during schooling. All 524 students had some or other time used either desktop or laptop; however, 39 (7.5%) of were not confident of using basic computer applications. One hundred and eighty-seven (35.7%) students regularly visited cyber café while 135 (25.8%) students were found visiting e-library of the college. There was significant difference in computer usage score in the students who had computer as a subject during schooling (p < 0.001). There was no significant gender or age difference in computer usage. Also, there was no significant difference in usage among students from Mumbai and rest of country.

Conclusion: In view of improving the skills of future health professionals, the use of computers should be an integral part of medical curriculum in India. The database handling, an important skill for tomorrow’s health professionals, needs special attention. The medical colleges in India should have e-libraries with easy access to students.

Keywords: Medical education, Computer literacy, Policy reform.

How to cite this article: Waingankar P, Anjenaya S, Taralekar R, Thatkar P. An Assessment of Computer Literacy among Students of a Private Medical College in Navi Mumbai. MGM J Med Sci 2014;1(4):156-162.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None