Considering that telemedicine is a relative newcomer to the practice of medicine—compared to, say, ECG, which is well over a century old—it may come as no surprise that no formalized telemedicine training currently exists at the medical student or resident level. To correct this, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently adopted a policy to make sure that medical students and residents know how to utilize telemedicine in clinical practice. More specifically, the policy urges the accrediting bodies to add core competencies for telemedicine to their programs.
As explained by Immediate Past President Robert M. Wah, M.D., “The vast majority of medical students are not being taught how to use technologies such as telemedicine or electronic health records during medical school and residency…We must ensure that our current and future physicians have the tools and resources they need to provide the best possible care for their patients. In particular, exposure to and evidence-based instruction in telemedicine’s capabilities and limitations at all levels of physician education will be essential to harnessing its potential.”
As part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, enacted in 2013, the AMA is working with 32 medical schools to incorporate new technologies into their curriculums and bridge gaps between how students are trained and how healthcare is actually delivered. For instance, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences uses telemedicine and simulations so students can develop the skills needed for working with remote or rural communities.
To read more about the AMA policy, click here.
To learn how the swyMed video medicine platform is being used to bring healthcare professionals directly to patients, click here.