JMIR Medical Education
Technology, innovation, and openness in medical education in the information age
Editor-in-Chief: Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
JMIR Medical Education (JME) is an open access, Pubmed-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. Another focus is on how to train health professionals to use digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal we have special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (eg, open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement).
In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees from various health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education, but in particular suggestions on how to improve medical education, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees) are the main focuses.
Articles published in JME will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly prompted medical schools and students around the world to transition from their traditional classrooms to web-based learning, the global crisis has inspired the development of innovative e-learning solutions that use existing technology and other web-based tools to continue nurturing the education of medical students while ensuring the public health and safety of both students and faculty members alike. Through the perspective of medical students, we share how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and transformed small team–based learning in medical education; changed objective structured clinical exam evaluations and the practice of clinical skills through telemedicine; and nurtured nationwide, web-based, student-led initiatives for community outreach, telehealth, and medical services.
Shared decision-making (SDM) is a process in which clinicians and patients work together to select tests, treatments, management, or support packages based on clinical evidence and the patient’s informed preferences. Similar to any skill, SDM requires practice to improve. Virtual patients (VPs) are simulations that allow one to practice a variety of clinical skills, including communication. VPs can be used to help professionals and students practice communication skills required to engage in SDM; however, this specific focus has not received much attention within the literature. A multiple-choice VP was developed to allow students the opportunity to practice SDM. To interact with the VP, users chose what they wanted to say to the VP by choosing from multiple predefined options, rather than typing in what they wanted to say.
In this viewpoint, we share our perspectives, as medical students at Imperial College London, on our experiences during our Infectious Diseases placement at Northwick Park Hospital, touching upon other students’ experiences at other sites as well. We highlight some of the main drivers of and barriers to medical students seeing patients with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about sweeping change in health care delivery, which has shifted from in-person consultations to a web-based format. Few medical schools provide web-based medicine or telemedicine training to their learners, though this is likely to be important for future medical practice.
Because tobacco use is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, it is essential to prepare health care providers to assist patients with quitting smoking. Created in 1999, the “Rx for Change” tobacco cessation curriculum was designed to fill an educational gap in cessation training of health professional students. In 2004, a website was launched to host teaching materials and tools to support the efforts of educators and clinicians.
Several studies have reported the positive impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on academic performance and outcomes. Although some equipment is available, the ICTs for education at the National Public Health School (NPHS) of Burkina Faso have many shortcomings. These shortcomings were clearly revealed during the search for responses to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, to curb the spread of COVID-19, some measures were taken, such as closure of educational institutions. This resulted in a 2.5-month suspension of educational activities. Despite its willingness, the NPHS was unable to use ICTs to continue teaching during the closure period of educational institutions.
Health professions students use social media to communicate with other students and health professionals, discuss career plans or coursework, and share the results of research projects or new information. These platforms allow students to share thoughts and perceptions that are not disclosed in formal education settings. Twitter provides an excellent window through which health professions educators can observe students’ sociocultural and learning needs. However, despite its merits, cyberincivility on Twitter among health professions students has been reported. Cyber means using electronic technologies, and incivility is a general term for bad manners. As such, cyberincivility refers to any act of disrespectful, insensitive, or disruptive behavior in an electronic environment.
As part of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements, residents must participate in structured didactic activities. Traditional didactics include lectures, grand rounds, simulations, case discussions, and other forms of in-person synchronous learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person activities less feasible, as many programs have been forced to transition to remote didactics. Educators must still achieve the goals and objectives of their didactic curriculum despite the new limitations on instructional strategies. There are several strategies that may be useful for organizing and creating a remote residency didactic curriculum. Educators must master new technology, be flexible and creative, and set rules of engagement for instructors and learners. Establishing best practices for remote didactics will result in successful, remote, synchronous didactics; reduce the impact of transitioning to a remote learning environment; and keep educators and learners safe as shelter-at-home orders remain in place.
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