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Assessing Medical Students' Comfort with Telemedicine


Assessing Medical Students' Comfort with Telemedicine

South Med J. 2023 May;116(5):400-404. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001553.


OBJECTIVE: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has recommended that the provision of telemedicine services become an entrustable professional activity (EPA). Given its increased scope, medical student comfort with telemedicine was explored.

METHODS: An institutional review board-approved 17-question, anonymous voluntary survey was created based on the AAMC's EPAs and administered to students at Northeast Ohio Medical University across 4 weeks. The primary outcome of this study was to assess medical students' self-reported telemedicine comfort levels.

RESULTS: The response rate was 141 students (22%). At least 80% of students believed that they were able to gather essential and accurate patient information, counsel patients and families, and communicate effectively across a broad range of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds using telemedicine. In total, 57% and 53% of students, respectively, believed that they were able to gather information and diagnose patients using telemedicine as well as they did in person, 38% of respondents believed that their patient's health outcome was the same via telemedicine or in-person visits, and 74% of respondents wished that telemedicine was formally taught in school. Most of the students believed they could effectively gather essential information and counsel patients via telemedicine, but there was a notable decrease in confidence for medical students when comparing telemedicine and in-person care directly.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the EPAs created by the AAMC, students did not self-report the same comfort level with telemedicine as they had with in-person patient visits. There are opportunities for improvement in the telemedicine medical school curriculum.

PMID:37137473 | DOI:10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001553

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