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Adapting Education in Response to COVID-19: A Novel Telehealth Education Curriculum (TEC) for the Ob/Gyn Clerkship
Purpose: We created, implemented, and evaluated a novel
Telehealth Education Curriculum (TEC) for the Ob/Gyn rotation at New York
Medical College during COVID-19. The TEC included supervised telehealth patient
encounters via video conference and a virtual Objective Structured Clinical
Encounter (vOSCE) designed to simulate a telehealth encounter.
Background: Telehealth is beneficial and cost-effective for
healthcare delivery. It improves patient outcomes, access, and enhances social
support. Despite its advantages and expanded use during the COVID-19 pandemic,
telehealth is not included in many medical school curricula.
Methods: We measured student perceptions of the TEC via 4-point
Likert surveys administered via SurveyMonkey. Participation was voluntary and
responses were de-identified.
Results: The response rate was 92% for both the Telehealth
(33/36) and vOSCE (48/52) surveys. Seventy-six (25/33) percent strongly or
moderately agreed that telehealth and in-person patient encounters have similar
educational value. Eighty-three percent (40/48) agreed the vOSCE provided a
valuable patient interaction. Ninety-seven percent (32/33) agreed the
telehealth encounters should continue during COVID-19 restrictions versus 82%
(27/33) agreeing they should be incorporated into the curriculum post COVID-19.
Discussions: Most students responded that the TEC should continue
during COVID-19 but there was less agreement regarding weather it should be
incorporated into the Ob/Gyn clerkship permanently. We found vOSCEs to be an
effective method for teaching telehealth to medical students. Key challenges
identified by students included adjusting to a virtual format, lack of body
language, and communicating empathy virtually. Positive takeaways included
practice with telemedicine and a new opportunity for continued clinical
education during COVID-19.
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Student, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, UME,