In recent years, telemedicine has been increasingly incorporated into medical practice, a process which has now been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As telemedicine continues to progress, it is necessary for medical institutions to incorporate telemedicine into their curricula, and to provide students with the necessary skills and experience to effectively carry out telemedicine consultations. The purposes of this study are to review the involvement of medical students with telemedicine and to determine both the benefits and the challenges experienced. A literature review on the MEDLINE; CINAHL Plus; APA PsychInfo; Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts; and Health Business Elite databases was performed on September 7, 2020, yielding 561 results. 33 manuscripts were analysed, with the main benefits and challenges experienced by medical students summarized. In addition to increasing their understanding of the importance of telemedicine and the acquisition of telemedicine-specific skills, students may use telemedicine to act as a valuable workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges that students face, such as discomfort with carrying out telemedicine consults and building rapport with patients, may be addressed through the incorporation of telemedicine teaching into the medical curricula through experiential learning. However, other more systemic challenges, such as technical difficulties and cost, need to be examined for the full benefits of telemedicine to be realized. Telemedicine is here to stay and has proven its worth during the COVID-19 pandemic, with medical students embracing its potential in assisting in medical clinics, simulation of clinical placements, and online classrooms.
Keywords: COVID-19; Medical education; Medical students; Telehealth; Telemedicine.
© 2021. The Author(s).