Awareness and Attitudes Towards Telemedicine Among Medical Students in the United States
telemedicine, telehealth, medical student, medical education
Health and Medical Administration | Medical Education
Introduction: Telemedicine (TM) or telehealth is defined as the delivery of healthcare services at a distance using electronic means. It is a rapidly growing field of medicine that uses telecommunication to provide healthcare services to patients such as the elderly and those in rural locations who may otherwise be unable to make it to the hospital or physician’s office. With the rise in the popularity of TM, educating future physicians on this technology will become vital. This study aimed to explore medical students’ experiences and opinions regarding TM.
Methods: An online survey was sent to 287 medical students in 20 different allopathic medical schools in the United States. The survey consisted of 14 questions that included demographic information, information regarding TM exposure, interest in TM, and plans for future utilization.
Results: The result of this study indicated that only 17.4% of medical students had prior exposure to TM. However, the increased exposure to TM helped not only to increase awareness of the technology but also helped students form opinions on TM. Lastly, students in all intended specialties had interests in utilizing TM in the future with specialties such as pathology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, and dermatology indicating the highest levels of interest.
Conclusion: As medicine continues to incorporate technology into the care of patients, training institutions need to expose future physicians to the modalities of care they will be utilizing. The results of this survey suggest that the development of education and exposure to TM will become increasingly important as more medical students indicate interest in utilizing this technology.
Publisher or Conference
Kong S S, Azarfar A, Ashour A, et al. Awareness and Attitudes Towards Telemedicine Among Medical Students in the United States. Cureus. 2020;12(11):e11574. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.11574