Using technology to educate, innovate and captivate

Technology is changing many aspects of life and work, as well as the way Yale School of Medicine (YSM) students learn.

“For alumni and college students, you know the Yale system is at the heart of medical education at Yale. But today we have creative and innovative technologies that enable this system in new ways, ”said Nancy J. Brown, MD, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean and CNH Long Professor of Internal Medicine, as she hosted alumni, students, faculty, and staff at the inaugural webinar, Reinventing medical education: using technology to educate, innovate and captivate, in the school’s Innovation in Medical Education series.

The four-part series that began Nov. 4 is designed to show “how this innovation enhances our already unique education,” Brown explained. The next session, on January 26, will focus on how simulation is used in medical education at YSM, followed by discussions on the adoption of telehealth in YSM’s clinical skills program and how the innovation is integrated into the school’s pharmacology training.

The theme of the series aligns with one of the medical education priorities of Jessica Illuzzi, MD, MS, Associate Dean of Education and Harold W. Jockers Professor of Medical Education – developing innovative approaches to medical education that are irrevocably engaging and compelling, enhanced by the increased use of simulation and the evolution of technologies and resources. In his remarks, Illuzzi referred to how medicine is very different from what it was just a decade ago and will continue to evolve with technology. Additionally, she said, “the learning style of our students has evolved as they become more and more tech savvy.”

Panel moderator Associate Dean of Studies Michael Schwartz, PhD, was appointed as the first Director of Innovation in Medical Education in July 2021, demonstrating the school’s commitment to improving medical education thanks to technology. Schwartz shared the story of how YSM has been using technology to improve student learning through devices like iPads and iPad Mini since 2010.

One of the themes of Schwartz’s remarks was the important role of students in making decisions about which technology to incorporate, since students know what will be useful, versus leadership and professors trying to anticipate what might be. useful. He stressed the importance of ensuring students different levels of pilot technology mastery of technology, because it should work well for all users.

When a participant asked how faculty keep ahead of the evolution of technology, Schwartz again singled out students, explaining that they “become technology educators for our faculty.” When students first had iPad Mini in wards in 2013, during rounding, residents and assistants often turned to students for quick access to patient data in EPIC and other information. in line. This helped integrate students into teams and enabled two-way teaching and learning. As mobile devices have become more common in clinical spaces, residents and caregivers are increasingly modeling their use in patient care.

Schwartz described how using iPad Minis in wards also improves interactions with patients, and explained how during COVID-19, when telehealth was widely used, iPad Minis mostly gave students access to records. electronic medical on and off site.

In 2010, when YSM first introduced iPads in the junior clerkship program, it was one of three medical schools to use the technology. In the fall of 2011, the entire program was delivered on iPad, allowing students to receive the most recent lecture notes and presentations from faculty members and to annotate these lecture materials.

Four faculty members shared how they used technology to improve their teaching. William Stewart, PhD, associate professor of surgery (gross anatomy), described how the anatomy lab now has 40 dissection tables with networked iMacs on an adjustable arm. Additionally, he and a team have created 24 interactive iBooks for use in anatomy that are also available to other institutions through the Apple Bookstore.

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine Rachel Liu, BAO, MBBCh, who is the director of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education, noted that since 2015, POCUS transducers paired with iPads and Other tablets are available in all YSM physical education programs. examination practice rooms. Every year, Liu explained, 16 students are trained in the use of these devices and how to teach their peers. This allowed students to practice POCUS on their own and improve their ability to learn normal anatomy, physiology and pathology. Using POCUS, a student “will see the spleen for the first time in his medical career,” Liu said.

Technology has altered the way clinical skills were taught during the pandemic, changes that Jaideep Talwalkar, MD, associate professor of internal medicine (general practice) and pediatrics and director of clinical skills, said will have power because they improved learning. Before the pandemic, small groups of students practiced their clinical skills with each other in the clinical skills practice rooms, with faculty providing feedback. COVID restrictions have forced creative adaptation. Students practiced on roommates, family members, or even models, using home-mounted iPads if they didn’t have access to school cameras, with teachers observing from a distance providing feedback formative. Students spoke to standardized patients on iPads as they performed the actual physical exam on a mannequin. Professors brought iPads to hospital rooms so that students, who couldn’t be physically present, could talk with patients and their team members and participate in remote care discussions.

The portability and versatility of these technology-driven solutions improved clinical skills training, as students were more engaged, access to faculty and patients was increased, and more opportunities for the practice of physical exams and feedback.

Deliberate practice, founded on Dr. Anders Ericsson’s concept that people improve in a skill when they practice towards a discreet goal, receive immediate feedback, and have the opportunity to practice again – led Christine J. Ko, MD, professor of dermatology and pathology, to develop an app that teaches people to visually recognize skin cancer. People look at pictures of skin lesions in a range of skin types and are asked to identify which lesions are skin cancer. Ko has visions of extending the app to other diseases, specialties, and physical examination skills.

Schwartz hopes that in his new role as innovation director in medical education, he will be able to encourage and support more new applications of technology to improve learning.

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About Hector Hedgepeth

Hector Hedgepeth

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