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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Review of Natural Language Processing in Medical Education

  • Author(s): Chary, Michael;
  • Parikh, Saumil;
  • Manini, Alex F.;
  • Boyer, Edward W.;
  • Radeos, Michael
  • et al.

Natural language processing (NLP) aims to program machines to interpret human language as humans do. It could quantify aspects of medical education that were previously amenable only to qualitative methods. The application of NLP to medical education has been accelerating over the past several years. This article has three aims. First, we introduce the reader to NLP. Second, we discuss the potential of NLP to help integrate FOAM (Free Open Access Medical Education) resources with more traditional curricular elements. Finally, we present the results of a systematic review. We identified 30 articles indexed by PubMed as relating to medical education and NLP, 14 of which were of sufficient quality to include in this review. We close by discussing potential future work using NLP to advance the field of medical education in emergency medicine.

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