IRVINE — On Friday, UC Irvine's School of Medicine ushered in the class of 2014.
This year, instead of finding a shiny new stethoscope in their pockets, they got something a little sweeter: an Apple iPad.
So far, the program is the first in the nation to equip their medical students with the digital device.
Part of the iMed initiative, UC Irvine believes modern medicine involves a growing commitment to cutting-edge technology.
"The physician's 'black bag' of the 21st century eventually won't contain the standard stethoscope, tuning fork and reflex hammer, but rather new generations of digital tools that allow students to enter a realm of routine examinations heretofore unimaginable," UCI Dean Ralph V. Clayman said in a statement.
The first-year students will be able to turn to their iPads for just about anything. Before being tucked into their bright white lab coats, it was fully loaded with digital course outlines, notes, and essential textbooks. They can also turn to the tablet for podcasts of lectures and other instructional materials specifically designed for UCI's program.