Disruptive Innovations in Medical Education

medhub | May 30, 2023

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Disruptive Innovations in Medical Education

How the future of medicine can benefit from new innovations across the education continuum


Several new medical education innovations are disrupting and transforming how medical students and residents learn and train to become physicians. Many of these critical innovations have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic “hangover,” while others are reinventions to optimize and adapt practices to better educate students and provide patient care.

Overall, these new innovations are being deployed across medical education institutions to create a more dynamic, interactive, and personalized learning experience for students and residents, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes. From virtual interviewing and telemedicine to improved test preparation and residency management software, here are some recent advancements in medical education today.

1. Virtual interviewing

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted schools to perform virtual interviews for residency programs to reduce viral transmission. Previously, residents did in-person interviews that required travel. For several reasons, virtual medical interviewing is here to stay:

  • Convenience: Virtual interviews are more convenient for both parties, as they save time and money associated with traveling to a physical location for the interview.
  • Accessibility: Financial or physical limitations can constrain some interviewees from traveling to medical school interviews. Virtual interviews help level the playing field for applicants of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Efficiency: Virtual interviews can be conducted more efficiently than in-person interviews, allowing medical schools to interview more applicants in less time. This can be particularly important for medical schools that receive many applications.
  • Safety: Virtual interviews ensure the safety of interviewees and interviewers.
2. Board exam preparation

It’s no secret that learners are constantly on the go. Today’s board exam prep tools not only deliver more engaging activities, but they also allow learners the ability to access them on their mobile device. The latest of new innovations in board exam preparation include:

  • Personalized learning: Adaptive learning technologies, like BoardVitals or other online question banks, can create customized learning paths for students based on their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a platform may quiz students on a specific area and offer follow-up questions in sections they fell short in, or banks with adaptive testing capabilities may progressively generate harder questions as learners demonstrate proficiency.
  • Real-time student performance data: In-depth analytics help students and residents focus on critical areas for improvement. With real-time test performance data, educators and administrators can identify where their students’ or residents’ learning gaps lie and make adjustments earlier in the process. But, benefits here extend far beyond the individual learner. With metrics at educators’ fingertips, institutions can address gaps or redundancies in curriculum more proactively.
  • Team-based learning: Collaborative learning helps students develop better communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.
  • Gamification: Games, quizzes, tests, and simulations engage students to provide an interactive way to learn complex concepts.
  • Visual learning: Advanced testing preparation solutions offer immersive learning experiences for medical students. Powerful visuals can transform complicated concepts into clear illustrations. Some platforms even provide ways to virtually practice scenarios they may encounter in a simulated environment.

Exam preparation tools are crucial to the success of clinical preparedness and the quality of patient care. Online board exam prep tools provide healthcare professionals with the resources they need to prepare effectively for exams, build confidence in their abilities, and identify areas where they need to improve.

When students are more prepared, institutions’ pass rates increase, which positively impacts their reputation. That’s why more than 2,000 medical institutions trust BoardVitals online practice questions to prepare their learners for board exams and earn continuing medical education (CME) credits. By using these tools, students and residents can ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the best possible care to their patients, ultimately contributing to the success of clinical preparedness and the quality of patient care. Institutions can rest assured in the knowledge that they are preparing world-class physicians for practice.

Learn more about online board exam prep tools.

3. Telemedicine

“As patients and practices opted for remote care to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, telehealth visits increased 154% in March 2020 compared to a year earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says the American Association of Medical Colleges. And it’s here to stay. In the past few years, telehealth has rapidly diversified to help meet emerging needs and ensure consistent patient care. Telemedicine has proliferated for many reasons:

  • This disruptive technology improves patient access in rural areas, under-resourced, and medically underserved communities.
  • Implementing telemedicine provides uninterrupted care for patients, including those with chronic conditions.
  • Virtual care creates efficiencies in patient care delivered by physicians and residents as well as creates crucial support for the patient to connect with their physicians.
  • The offering of medical health appointments is much more accessible, fostering patient confidentiality, patient relationships, and providing care to those who otherwise may not have sought support.
  • It grants patients improved convenience and care to develop trust with clinicians and their patient populations.
    Environmental cues to help pinpoint a diagnosis are revealed (Practitioners can see patients in their home environment).

Innovative virtual learning technology can help Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) and Graduate Medical Education (GME) with:

  • Guest lecturers providing remote education
  • Distance world-class teaching to our students and residents from across the globe
  • Test preparation

While telemedicine presents opportunities for medical education and practice, it also comes with challenges. Establishing, managing, standardizing, and building compliance around virtual experiences are just a few examples of obstacles in telehealth.

In addition, practicing telemedicine requires a different set of skills than in-person care. Thus, students and residents need specific training to develop the necessary expertise for telehealth care. In fact, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) identified six core competencies medical students, residents, and experienced physicians should have when practicing telemedicine

  1. Patient safety and appropriate use of telehealth
  2. Access and equity in telehealth
  3. Communication via telehealth
  4. Data collection and assessment
  5. Technology for telehealth
  6. Ethical practices and legal requirements

The pandemic’s colossal impact has delivered uniquely disruptive and new innovative healthcare approaches, including instant imaging, the availability of specialty consults, and the continuity of patient-centered care. However, for the continuum of medical education, it has also provided increased availability for residency interviews, increased availability to recruit physician educators and lecturers, and increased availability for advanced board prep content and study tools.

4. Get help with the right software

Institutional leaders have found efficiencies through technology to automate key processes and optimize communication in medical education. MedHub’s GME and UME software solutions create a more dynamic, interactive, and personalized learning experience for medical students, while providing faculty and administrators with actionable insights into their institution.

Growing and managing a GME or UME institution includes multiple moving parts, data points, and critical considerations impacting learners, staff, and leadership effectiveness. Easily connecting these dots to drive actionable insights and outcomes can be complex without the right tools or guidance in place. Seeking a education management software partner that truly understands the unique needs of your institution can seem overwhelming. But finding the right partner brings a myriad of benefits – improved institutional oversight, greater productivity, and increased profitability. Selecting a software platform that will meet your needs is important, but you also need a partner that’s been in your shoes and is as invested in your success as you are. While there are many options available, they’re not equal. To help guide your decision, here are the top criteria you should consider for selecting a solution that will strengthen your GME or UME institution.

Choose a resource to explore the most important criteria when selecting a UME or GME solution for your programs or institution.