• Providing support in a pandemic: A medical student telehealth service for ambulatory patients with COVID-19

      Zhang, Annie; GoodSmith, Matthew; Server, Steven; Uddin, Sophia; McNulty, Moira; Sherer, Renslow; Lio, Jonathan (Elsevier, 2022-03-01)
      During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when health systems were overwhelmed with surging hospitalizations and a novel virus, many ambulatory patients diagnosed with COVID-19 lacked guidance and support as they convalesced at home. This case report offers insight into the implementation of a telehealth service utilizing third- and fourth-year medical students to provide follow-up to ambulatory patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The service was evaluated using medical student surveys and retrospective chart review to assess the clinical and social needs of patients during the spring of 2020. Students assessed symptoms for 416 patients with COVID-19 from April 8 to May 20 and provided clinical information and resources. Eighteen percent of these patients sought higher levels of medical care, in part from student referrals. Three key implementation lessons from this experience that may be relevant for others include: 1) Vulnerable patient populations face unique stressors exacerbated by the pandemic and may benefit from intensive follow-up after COVID-19 diagnosis to address both medical and social needs; 2) Medical students can play value-added roles in providing patient education to prevent the spread of COVID-19, assisting patients with escalating care or resource connection, and providing emotional support to those who have lost loved ones; 3) Continuous re-assessment of the intervention was important to address evolving patient needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Future work should focus on identifying high-risk patient populations and tailoring follow-up interventions to meet the unique needs of these patient populations.
    • A virtual emergency: learning lessons from remote medical student education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Smith, Elana; Boscak, Alexis (Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH, 2021-01-08)
      Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancelation of traditional on-site clinical rotations for medical students across the country. Radiology educators have had to rapidly adapt to a new, virtual educational landscape. We describe our experience restructuring a Trauma and Emergency Radiology Elective to an online format and present survey data obtained from students who completed the course. Methods: This elective is a 4-week course offered to third and fourth year medical students at a large Level 1 Trauma Center. Changes to the traditional rotation included assigning an increased number of self-study educational resources, independent review of unknown cases using a virtual workstation, and online interactive conferences. At the conclusion of each block, students were asked to complete post-course feedback surveys. Results: Thirteen students enrolled in this online course; 92% submitted post-course surveys. Students strongly agreed that the course was clinically relevant, with accessible, engaging material (average score, 4.92/5), and 91.7% of students were very likely to recommend this rotation to others. Students reported improved post-course confidence in ordering and interpreting imaging studies. A majority (60%) of students who had previously taken an on-site course would have preferred a course that combined traditional and online learning elements. Conclusions: The success of our online rotation highlights the merits of self-directed learning and flipped-classroom techniques. Many of the principles incorporated into this course could be applied and/or modified to increase medical student engagement when students return to the hospital. © 2021, American Society of Emergency Radiology.