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PRiMER ; 4: 16, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895843


INTRODUCTION: As the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability to conduct in-person sessions to teach clinical skills, our medical school developed a curriculum to introduce first-year medical students to telemedicine visits, while also reinforcing their history-taking and clinical reasoning skills. METHODS: All first-year medical students at Florida Atlantic University went through three sessions on telemedicine that began with a lecture, followed by a standardized patient interaction, then a small group meeting with clinical faculty. We assessed the sessions using survey questions on a 5-point Likert scale and additional narrative feedback. We also assessed students on a telemedicine objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) at the end of the semester and compared results to the previous year's same case done in person. RESULTS: Students overall found the sessions helpful for refining their history-taking skills and that the knowledge gained would be helpful in their future practices. They felt the online platform was a useful way to interact with patients, but had frustrations with technical difficulties. They also expressed a greater appreciation for the ability to perform an in-person physical examination. Students performed similarly on the OSCE station in person compared to virtual visits (mean score 93% vs 93.75%). CONCLUSION: Introducing telemedicine during a first-year medical school clinical skills course provides students with opportunities to refine their clinical skills while introducing a skill that will be commonplace in the postpandemic environment. This curriculum could be adopted not only during a time of necessary distance learning, but also continued as in-person education resumes.