Telemedicine Journal and e-Health
Pourmand A, Ghassemi M, Sumon K, Amini SB, Hood C, Sikka N.
Background: Telemedicine focuses on providing medical care to patients in remote locations using telecommunication technologies. It has been shown to be cost-effective, improve health outcomes, and enhance patient satisfaction. This study examines the extent to which medical students and resident physicians are exposed to telemedicine during training. Materials and Methods: The authors accessed the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Milestones from specialties and subspecialties mentioned in the 2018 Milestones National Report and searched for key terms, including "Technology," "Telemedicine," "Telehealth," "EMR," "Electronic Medical Record," "EHR," "Electronic Health Record," "Electronics," and "Social Media." The authors also accessed the 2018 American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) "Curriculum Inventory and Reports" to retrieve data from surveys of medical schools that included telemedicine in required courses and electives for medical students from 2013 to 2018. Results: From the 104 ACGME specialty milestones, only one specialty (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) mentioned telehealth in its ACGME Milestone document. According to the AAMC data the number of medical schools surveyed increased every academic year from 140 in 2013/2014 to 147 in 2017/2018, telemedicine education in medical school increased significantly from 41% in 2013/2014 to 60% in 2017/2018 (p = 0.0006). However, the growth in telemedicine education plateaued from 56% in 2015/2016 to 60% in 2017/2018 (p = 0.47). Conclusion: Familiarizing medical students with telemedicine is essential; the next generation of health care providers should be equipped with knowledge of telemedicine as a valuable skill to serve populations that do not have direct access to quality medical care. Methods of implementing telemedicine education into more medical schools and residency programs merits further study.