Developing the eMedical Student (eMS)-A Pilot Project Integrating Medical Students Into the Tele-ICU During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Abstract [from journal]

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for virtual healthcare delivery and highlighted the scarcity of telehealth medical student curricula, particularly tele-critical care. In partnership with the Penn E-lert program and the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) established a tele-ICU rotation to support the care of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The four-week course had seven elements: (1) 60 h of clinical engagement; (2) multiple-choice pretest; (3) faculty-supervised, student-led case and topic presentations; (4) faculty-led debriefing sessions; (5) evidence-based-medicine discussion forum; (6) multiple-choice post-test; and (7) final reflection. Five third- and fourth-year medical students completed 300 h of supervised clinical engagement, following 16 patients over three weeks and documenting 70 clinical interventions. Knowledge of critical care and telehealth was demonstrated through improvement between pre-test and post-test scores. Professional development was demonstrated through post-course preceptor and learner feedback. This tele-ICU rotation allowed students to gain telemedicine exposure and participate in the care of COVID patients in a safe environment.