Teaching Telemedicine: The Next Frontier for Medical Educators

JMIR Med Educ. 2021 Apr 29;7(2):e29099. doi: 10.2196/29099.


The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed telemedicine to the forefront of health care delivery, and for many clinicians, virtual visits are the new normal. Although telemedicine has allowed clinicians to safely care for patients from a distance during the current pandemic, its rapid adoption has outpaced clinician training and development of best practices. Additionally, telemedicine has pulled trainees into a new virtual education environment that finds them oftentimes physically separated from their preceptors. Medical educators are challenged with figuring out how to integrate learners into virtual workflows while teaching and providing patient-centered virtual care. In this viewpoint, we review principles of patient-centered care in the in-person setting, explore the concept of patient-centered virtual care, and advocate for the development and implementation of patient-centered telemedicine competencies. We also recommend strategies for teaching patient-centered virtual care, integrating trainees into virtual workflows, and developing telemedicine curricula for graduate medical education trainees by using our TELEMEDS framework as a model.

Keywords: COVID-19; education; graduate medical education; graduate students; medical education; pandemic; patient-centered care; telehealth; telemedicine; virtual health; virtual visits.