HumanInsight Use of Telemedicine in the Family Medicine Clerkship: A CERA Study
PRiMER. 2022 Jul 23;6:25. doi: 10.22454/PRiMER.2022.105712. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: In March 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical rotations abruptly ceased, and telemedicine became an alternative to in-person patient care. This study investigates factors associated with long-term adoption of telemedicine during family medicine clerkships.
METHODS: Data were gathered from the 2021 CERA survey of family medicine clerkship directors. Participants answered questions about the use of telemedicine in the clerkship, adequacy of telemedicine resources, how well telemedicine visits helped students meet course objectives, quality of course evaluations, efficiency of students seeing patients using telemedicine, and likelihood of continuing use of telemedicine once in-person visits are reinstated.
RESULTS: The response rate was 48.8%. While most clerkship directors did not use telemedicine prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with their own patients, most had medical students utilize telemedicine during the pandemic. Clerkship directors were more likely to continue having students use telemedicine in the clerkship if it helped them meet clerkship objectives, if telemedicine visits were efficient, and if course evaluations were positive. Adequacy of resources was not associated with likelihood of retaining telemedicine in the clerkship.
CONCLUSIONS: Family medicine clerkship directors will likely continue to have students see patients via telemedicine, particularly if feedback is positive. Family medicine educators need to develop and evaluate new telemedicine curriculum for learner benefit, patient acceptability, and overall care quality.
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