PLoS One. 2021 Feb 8;16(2):e0246762. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246762. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the resilience of public health, including diagnostic testing, antiviral development and transmission prevention. In addition, it also affected the medical education of many residents and learners throughout the country. Historically, physicians undergoing their residency training were not involved in telemedicine. However, in response to the challenges faced due to COVID-19, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released a provision in May 2020 to allow residents to participate in telemedicine.
METHOD: Lincoln Medical Center, located in the South Bronx of New York City, currently has 115 Internal Medicine residents, and telemedicine clinic visits have been conducted by residents since June 2020. An anonymous 25-question survey was sent to all Internal Medicine residents between August 8, 2020 to August 14, 2020.
RESULT: Of 115 residents, 95 (82.6% of the residents) replied to this questionnaire. Residents revealed feeling less confident in managing chronic diseases through telemedicine visits. The survey also shows that 83.1% of respondents prefer in-person visits during their training, 65.3% feel that the telemedicine experience will affect their future career choice, and 67.4% would prefer less than 50% of visits to be telemedicine in their future careers.
OUTCOME: The purpose of the new ACGME rules allowing telemedicine was to prevent the undertraining of residents and maintain health care for the patient during the COVID-19 pandemic. This affects residency training and the experiences of residents, which in turn can influence their future career plans.