Telemedicine Clinical Skills Needs Assessment in Early Medical Students

Tina Kumra, Maura McGuire, Ariella Stein, Amit K. Pahwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: As clinicians increasingly rely on tele-medicine, medical students will need to learn how to appropriately use tele-medicine in patient care. A formal approach to curriculum development is needed to identify gaps and needs in early medical student performance. METHODS: In October 2020, 120 second-year medical students completed a telemedicine visit with a standardized patient with chronic essential hy-pertension. Students were assessed across five domains (history-gathering, communication, vitals, physical exam, and assessment/management). An anonymous, voluntary survey was distributed to assess self-efficacy in tele-medicine skills. RESULTS: Students perform well in history-gathering and communication (98% of student scored 4 or 5 out of 5 on history, 100% of students received a 7 or 8 out of 8 on communication). Students perform poorly in obtaining vital signs (23% scored 3 or 4 out of 4) and assessment/management (14% scored 3 or 4 out of 4). Students received their lowest scores in physical examination (2% score 4 or 5 out of 5). The number of telemedicine visits completed with patients prior to the standardized patient exercise had no impact on student performance during the exercise. Student response rate on the postexercise survey was 88%. Self-efficacy was lowest in physical examination telemedicine skills compared to other domains. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that early medical students are able to gather history and communicate over telemedicine, but perform poorly on telemedicine physical examination skills. More robust curriculum development addressing telemedicine physical examinations skills is needed early in medical training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-297
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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