Telehealth is a developing area in medical science. As online medical consultations and other remote-care programs continue to spread, they are more likely to shape healthcare delivery. This creates the need for incorporating telemedicine into medical school to ensure pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and other health care staff of tomorrow are well equipped. Ideally, exposure to studies on telehealth practices will benefit not only medical students but also other individuals in the industry.
Since telehealth is an evolving area in medicine, education must be introduced to inform students of the current practice and let medical providers get information for future training. In the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), such programs have been initiated and embedded within a few educational facilities, including its College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine, among others. When you think about it, education on telemedicine is a low-stakes investment. There are very few programs or platforms that allow medical practitioners to share information with their patients in a value-added way and reduce general healthcare expenditures.
In a survey done in MUSC that consisted of telehealth program participants from the last five years, approximately 86% of the participants considered their abilities to use telemedicine as part of their jobs to be above average. They reported changes in their confidence related to areas of telehealth expertise. They also said that they were in a high position to explain various telehealth practices to their peers.
In the survey, the open-ended responses also revealed that participants gained knowledge beyond the technical skills involved. One answer, for instance, suggested that their focus on cross-practice or cross-disciplinary collaboration had greatly improved. Other responses revealed that programs on telemedicine had increased their awareness of possible new career opportunities. continued educational learning is one of the most important areas of learning for students across different sectors. Telemedicine is indeed the future of healthcare, and incorporating it in medical schools will significantly benefit.