MedEdPORTAL. 2021 Mar 2;17:11106. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11106.
INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, third-year medical students were temporarily unable to participate in onsite clinical activities. We identified the curricular components of an internal medicine (IM) clerkship that would be compromised if students learned solely from online didactics, case studies, and simulations (i.e., prerounding, oral presentations, diagnostic reasoning, and medical management discussions). Using these guiding principles, we created a virtual rounds (VR) curriculum to provide IM clerkship students with clinical exposure during a virtual learning period.
METHODS: Held three times a week for 2 weeks, VR consisted of three curricular components. First, clerkship students prerounded on an assigned hospitalized patient by remotely accessing the electronic health record and calling into hospital rounds. Second, each student prepared an oral presentation on their assigned patient. Third, using videoconferencing, students delivered these oral presentations to telemedicine VR small groups consisting of three to four students and three tele-instructors. Tele-instructors then provided feedback on oral presentations and taught clinical concepts. We assessed the effectiveness of VR by anonymously surveying students and tele-instructors.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine students and 34 volunteer tele-instructors participated in VR over four blocks. A majority of students felt VR improved their prerounding abilities (86%), oral presentation abilities (93%), and clinical reasoning skills (62%). All students found small group to be useful.
DISCUSSION: VR allowed students to practice rounding skills in a supportive team-based setting. The lessons learned from its implementation could facilitate education during future pandemics and could also supplement in-person clerkship education.