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Telemedicine perception and interest among medical students at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2023.

Authors
  • Albahri, Abdulaziz H1
  • Alnaqbi, Shatha A2
  • Alnaqbi, Shahad A2
  • Shorbagi, Sarra3
  • 1 Primary Healthcare Services Sector, Dubai Academic Health Corporation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. [email protected]. , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 2 Primary Healthcare Services Sector, Dubai Academic Health Corporation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 3 Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. , (United Arab Emirates)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BMC Medical Education
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Nov 22, 2023
Volume
23
Issue
1
Pages
892–892
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-023-04859-0
PMID: 37993860
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Telemedicine is becoming an integral part of healthcare. Training medical students in telemedicine is encouraged by many medical organizations. However, in the United Arab Emirates in particular, most medical schools have not incorporated it into their curriculum. Therefore, this study aims to assess medical students' perceptions and interest in telemedicine teaching at the University of Sharjah, UAE. A questionnaire-based survey was built based on the current literature and was distributed to all medical students at the University of Sharjah between February and March 2023. The questionnaire assessed the participants for their demographic data, access to and use of digital devices, exposure to and beliefs related to telemedicine, and their medical school experience with distance learning and telemedicine. The data were analyzed via simple statistics, and the Chi-square test was used to assess the associated factors affecting the participants' interest in receiving telemedicine teaching. The questionnaire had a 70.4% (547/777) response rate. The mean age (SD) of the participants was 20.7 years (1.57), and the majority were female (68.4%). Over 98% of the students reported having easy access to and being comfortable with using computers and the internet. Most students (90.5%) believed that the medical school curriculum should include teaching in telemedicine; however, 78.2% of these students stated that it should be included as an elective course. The participants' interest in receiving teaching in telemedicine had a statistically significant association with the following factors: being female, being familiar with telemedicine, having read literature on telemedicine, having beliefs that telemedicine is an opportunity to improve current medical practice, that its use should be encouraged, that it has an important role to play in healthcare, that it does not pose greater threat to current medical practice, having a preference to continue distance learning at medical school and having an interest in incorporating telemedicine in their future careers. It is an ideal time to incorporate telemedicine into the medical curriculum at the University of Sharjah with most students expressing interest in it. However, further research is needed to assess its applicability to other medical schools in the country and elsewhere. © 2023. The Author(s).

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