Yes, physicians use electronic resources for scientific findings. Plenty. The competition for their time and interest among companies that mediate this is high, though varying across specialties. See below.
Whether patient care is improved (or even influenced) is unclear. It requires a study of colleagues -- other physicians mediate decisions about patient care...and this is especially true in large settings, which are becoming the norm for professional practice...
Excuse the formality, but pasting serves this interaction format and pace well...:
Bennett et al. (2004) surveyed members of the American Medical Association and found Medline is the most frequently-used tool for gaining access to findings, with its use rising sharply in terms of both the number of physicians using it and the frequency of times accessed.
Whereas it was used by their sample an average of 4.4 times/month in 2001, the rate grew to 8.6 times/month in 2003. The percentage of physicians accessing it during the course of a week also nearly doubled during this period, rising from 28% to 54% (Bennett et al. 2004).
Of the physicians using Medline, 90% do so for researching clinical information (Harris Interactive 2003).
Harris Interactive 2003. “E-Health’s Influence Continues to Grow as Usage of the Internet by Physicians and Practices Expands.” Harris Interactive Health Care News. Washington D.C.
Bennett, N., Casebeer, L., Kristofco, R., Strasser, S. 2004. “Physicians’ Internet Information-Seeking Behaviors,” The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 24: 31-38.
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