Three universities have followed the lead of Leicester Medical School to include a course on teaching the principles of online consultations using the Patients Know Best (PKB) platform. This is due to the success of the pilot led by Dr. Ron Hsu and his innovation team at Leicester. The complete evaluation of the program was featured in a Q&A session at the Royal Society of Medicine back in March. The session was recorded and is well worth watching:
These medical and pharmaceutical schools are taking the steps to prepare medical students for the future. In his interview with NHE, Dr. Ron Hsu reasoned that:
I’m not preparing students to be doctors today – I’m preparing them to be doctors in the next decade.
This is echoed by Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO of PKB, in his NHE interview:
[W]e know for sure that today’s medical students will be carrying out online consultations throughout their clinical career – we are not sure just how much though. Early studies show that 40% of GP appointments could be safely and efficiently switched to online consultations… We also know that preventing long distance travel to see super-specialists is a big clinical benefit not just because of the convenience and cost saving of avoiding travel, but also because for many patients the long travel makes them sicker. In other situations, like cystic fibrosis, having patients travel to the same clinic waiting room increases their chance of infection. And in mental health, seeing the patient in their home provides valuable clinical diagnostic and therapeutic information that you would not get from a face-to-fact clinic appointment. Most interestingly for me, we also know that there is a lot we do not know – that as more and more professionals experiment with online consultations, we will learn about more scenarios where online consultations are a useful complement to the existing tools that professionals use when working with their patients.
The Leicester pilot complemented the existing curriculum for the students.
The questions weren’t focused on a medical condition, because of the stage the students were at, they were year one – they were focused on the fundamental sciences that form the basis of medicine. So, ‘do I have to have cholesterol in my diet?’ The students will have learnt that it forms an integral part of cell membranes, and whilst too much is bad, not eating any cholesterol will cause your cells to collapse…
The questions were closely linked to what they were taught the week before. The students cottoned on quite quickly. In the first semester, every fourth one was pot luck – something just came out of the blue.
The goal was to work out what made sense in online consultations and what didn’t.
As a result of the pilot, Leicester Medical School is now rolling out this curriculum for the entire school.
We are excited to work with Leicester Medical School and others this academic school year. We look forward to receiving more feedback on use of the PKB platform as a teaching tool. Additionally, PKB’s partnership with Leicester Medical School allows us to share the teaching materials developed under open-access copyright license with all other medical schools, worldwide. If you would like to bring PKB to your medical school, contact us to get you started.