The following is a guest post by an academic colleague and social media buddy of mine, Kaylan A. Baban, MD MPH, who is a new Course Director at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, as well as a developer of eye health smartphone applications. Dr. Baban is launching a new medical student elective at Mt. Sinai called Healthcare 2.0 that promises to bring budding docs up to speed in the new world of digital medicine. The post below is part of the Course Description from this new elective. Find out more about Dr. Baban at LinkedIn. Her Twitter handle is @KaylanBaban.
Healthcare 2.0: Preparing medical students for the dawn of digital medicine
Technology is progressing at lightning speed, revolutionizing every aspect of healthcare and life. As medical educators, we are charged with not only providing a strong foundation in basic science and clinical knowledge, but also preparing our students to be leaders in the avant garde of healthcare as it is will be practiced tomorrow.
As a robust virtual professional presence becomes more vital to the modern physician, so too does the need to responsibly manage that presence. It is critical to guide students not only regarding actions to avoid in order to protect themselves and their patients, but also regarding affirmative steps that can maximize educational, professional, and health benefits to themselves and the patients in their care.
Social media, mobile technologies, electronic health records, and health information technologies are quickly becoming the present of modern healthcare, and will certainly be its future. One implication of this shift is that modern healthcare is quickly becoming a highly interdisciplinary field; one that requires an unprecedented level of technological savvy for full participation. Physicians who are not comfortably conversant in the use of these technologies will be unable to fully participate in, much less lead, the conversation. It is our responsibility to step out of the silo in which healthcare has traditionally been housed, and guide our students’ exposure to this reality of modern healthcare.
Physicians and patients alike are poised to benefit enormously from these new technologies. As such, standards of care will shift. Savvy patients will, and to some extent already do, expect their physicians to avail themselves – in a critical and responsible manner – of technologies that streamline care and communication. This will be true not only in “boutique” practices, but also among the underserved populations our students may seek to serve domestically or abroad, since those populations stand to benefit perhaps more than any other. As standards of care shift, today’s medical students must be prepared to lead the way. We have a responsibility – to them and their future patients – to give them the foundation to do so.