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
Twitter is a rapidly growing social media site that has greatly integrated itself in the lives of students and professionals in the medical field. While Twitter has been found to be very helpful in facilitating education, there is also great potential for its usage as a social support system. Social support has become more essential as society grapples with declining mental health, particularly in the medical sector. In our previous paper, we saw that Twitter provides a promising tool to learn more about the online conversation about dementia and, in particular, the supportive network that can be created. Inspired by this, we decided to investigate the potential of using Twitter as a support system for students and professionals in the medical field. In this paper, we explore the current state of mental health in the medical field and suggest practical implementation methods for using Twitter.
Allergic rhinitis is a common disorder affecting both children and adults. Recommended treatment consists of intranasal corticosteroid spray administration, but only few patients administer the nasal spray in the correct technical manner. A wrong administration technique may result in side effects and affect the efficacy and adherence, thus making accurate administration instructions indispensable. Unfortunately, information about intranasal drug administration is generally not explained accurately, thereby leading to confusion among patients and inaccuracy in the self-administration of drugs.
The notion of anytime, anyplace communication is characteristic of the current generation of learners. Such communications have facilitated the growth and integration of a blended or hybrid learning platform in multiple educational settings. However, there are limited reports on the use of an anytime, anyplace communication platform in clinical inpatient medical education.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting up to 5% of children and adults. Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can result in adverse long-term health, educational, and social impacts for affected individuals. Therefore, it is important to identify this disorder as early as possible. General practitioners (GPs) frequently play a gatekeeper role in access to specialist services in charge of diagnosis and treatment. Studies have shown that their lack of knowledge and understanding about ADHD can create barriers to care.
Many people share the results of their direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing (DTC-PGT) within the primary care setting, seeking interpretation of and counsel about the results. However, most primary care physicians (PCPs) are not trained to interpret and communicate about DTC-PGT results. New guidelines must be developed to help PCPs maximize the potential of emerging DTC-PGT technologies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired us, as medical students, to reflect upon the communication training we have received in medical school and the obstacles we have faced in the clinic due to COVID-19. We hold the view that our communication training is inadequate; this view is driven by our limited exposure to patients, a situation that is currently being exacerbated by the pandemic. The medical curriculum must be inclusive of all groups and take into account the new challenges arising during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These personal views, drawn from the experiences of a medical student and a medical school lecturer, advocate caution of the current trend for formal adoption of peer teaching into medical school curricula. Using a metaphor from physics, we highlight the need for cautious deeper exploration of the informal world of peer-teaching in medical schools, which is a complex part of the educational ecosystem, prior to incorporating such activities into faculty-led initiatives. We support a measured approach to the introduction of compulsory peer-teaching activities given the recognized theoretical and pedagogical benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced medical schools and clinicians to transition swiftly to working online, where possible. During this time, final-year medical students at King’s College London, England, have received some of their general practice teachings in the form of virtual tutor groups. The predominant feature of such groups is online patient simulations, which provide students a valuable experience to help gain insight into current clinical practice amid the pandemic and inform how their practices as incoming junior doctors would continue. Even in the absence of face-to-face teaching and clinical placements, students have been able to hone their medical knowledge and soft skills through these virtual, simulated consultations. They have been exposed to a new consultation style while in a safe and collaborative learning space. Here, we explore how medical students have benefited from these virtual tutor groups and how similar small-group online teaching opportunities can add value to the medical curriculum in the future.
In December 2019, COVID-19 emerged and rapidly spread worldwide. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is high; as a result, countries worldwide have imposed rigorous public health measures, such as quarantine. This has involved the suspension of medical school classes globally. Medical school attachments are vital to aid the progression of students’ confidence and competencies as future physicians. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, medical schools have sought ways to replace medical placements with virtual clinical teaching.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has vastly impacted the health care system in the United States, and it is continuing to dictate its unprecedented influence on the education systems, especially the residency and fellowship training programs. The impact of COVID-19 on these training programs has not been uniform across the board, with plastic surgery residency and fellowship programs among the hardest hit specialties. Implementation of social distancing regulations has affected departmental educational activities, including preoperative, morbidity and mortality conferences and journal clubs; operating room educational activities; as well as the overall education of plastic surgery trainees in the United States. Almost all elective and semielective surgeries across the United States were suspended for a few months during the COVID-19 pandemic; this constitutes a significant portion of plastic surgery cases. Considering the current staged reopening policies, it may be a long time, if ever, before restrictions are completely lifted. In this paper, we review the multidimensional impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the training programs of plastic surgery residents and fellows in the United States and worldwide, along with some potential solutions on how to address existing challenges.
Nasal osteotomy is a commonly performed procedure during rhinoplasty for both functional and cosmetic reasons. Teaching and learning this procedure proves difficult due to the reliance on nuanced tactile feedback. For surgical simulation, trainees are traditionally limited to cadaveric bones, which can be costly and difficult to obtain.