Due to the increased attention focused on telemedicine during the coronavirus pandemic, experts at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are collaborating to offer a new elective course to medical students.
Launched last month, the six-credit-hour course trains medical students in the clinical practice of telemedicine, technology, policies, benefits, and drawbacks. Sajeesh Kumar, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Diagnostics and Health Sciences in the College of Health Professions in Memphis, and John S. White, II, MD, assistant professor of family medicine in the College of Medicine in Jackson, Tennessee, co-direct the course.
The practice of telemedicine, or the use of technology to evaluate and treat patients who are at a location separate from their health care provider, has increased substantially since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Students will learn and be trained on synchronous and asynchronous telemedicine platforms. Synchronous platforms are live, audio/visual communication that allow direct communication with the patient in real time, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Dox.me, and Doximity. Asynchronous platforms do not take place in real time. Examples of this include email and patient portal interactions. Training will also include clinical specialty practices, such as telepsychiatry, telepediatrics and real-time interaction with telehealth providers and patients in a remote clinical setting.