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GPs go forth

Medical students trained in 'three-way' online consultations

A medical school has become the first in the country to train all its medical students on how to hold real-time consultations with patients.

All of the 176 first-year students on Leicester University’s medical degree course will receive online consultation training, including three-way consultations with a hospital specialist.

The move comes after health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that nine trial areas looking at extending access to GPs in the evening and at weekends would also test out a variety of ‘forward-thinking services’ for patients, such as greater use of Skype, email and phone consultations to further boost access to GPs through a £50m ‘challenge fund’.

Leicester University medical school senior fellow and lead for innovation Dr Ron Hsu said that technologies that enable online consultations would be increasingly used and that they saw it as an essential part of medical training.

He said: ‘GPs and specialists alike are going to need to know how to communicate and interact with patients using these technologies. Our hope is that by putting online consultation early in our undergraduate teaching, we will not only prepare our students for the future but help them improve the level of care they provide patients.’


Readers' comments (3)

  • So we could spend the money on getting our doctors trained In ultrasound techniques or skype..interesting use of their time!

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  • There can be no definitive diagnosis and safe management of a patient without a proper PHYSICAL examination;what do you make of the long valued techniques of inspection,palpation,percussion and auscultation?

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  • Very very worrying indeed!

    None of this takes into account the state of the patient who may be extremely anxious, un-cooperative etc. Foe r heaven sake, you should be dealing with real people, but guess this explains why junior doctors on wards stand staring at patients like grinning cats!

    Teach doctors how to deal with human beings not 3D images!

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