Medical Student Participation in Otolaryngology Telemedicine Clinic During COVID-19: A Hidden Opportunity

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Nov 10;194599820970964. doi: 10.1177/0194599820970964. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The undergraduate medical student educational experience was greatly altered this year due to coronavirus disease 2019. Many otolaryngology departments increased use of telemedicine technologies to avoid the need for in-person contact. Medical student incorporation into telemedicine clinics is important to increase their comfort with this format of patient care and to continue student exposure to the field of otolaryngology. The technical and logistical aspects of student inclusion in telemedicine clinics at our institution are detailed. While telemedicine is still an evolving tool for experienced practitioners, there are likely advantages to the use of telemedicine patient visits for student learning. These may include closer working relationships between student and preceptor, as well as increased opportunities for student observation and feedback. Medical students should not assume telemedicine experiences are of inferior educational quality to in-person patient interactions. Future research should investigate ways telemedicine could enhance student learning.

Keywords: COVID-19; clinic; medical student; otolaryngology; outpatient; telemedicine; undergraduate medical education.