Telemedicine Experiences Among Family Medicine Residents at King Saud University Medical City During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study | BMC Medical Education

The questionnaire was distributed to 60 residents (30 juniors and 30 seniors) with a 100% response rate. Of the participants, 48.3% (29) were male and 51.7% (31) were female (Table 1). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the residents had telemedicine experience. As a result, if the patient did not answer the phone, 81.7% (49) of the participants attempted to call her 2-3 times, compared with 4 or more times. He was only 18.3% (11). Most of the participants (47; 78.3%) were able to handle 6–8 telemedicine visits per clinic (Table 1).

Table 1 Participant demographics, practice characteristics, and career choices (n = 60)

Overall, 53.3% (32) participants believed telemedicine could influence future career decisions. However, most participants (43; 71.7%) preferred face-to-face visit practice in their resident training, and only 10% (6) preferred telemedicine. Also, 76.7% (46) of his participants accepted telemedicine practice as part of their training, unless more than 25% of him in the training program (Table 1) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1

Preferences for Resident Training Practices

Compared to in-person visits, most participants reported less clinical experience, less supervision, and less discussion time with their supervisors when training in telemedicine clinics. However, most participants (41; 68.3%) acquired communication skills through telemedicine (Table 2). Participants were mostly confident in managing chronic conditions such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and hypothyroidism through telemedicine. participants said telemedicine did not provide the same quality of care as in-person visits. This is due to an increasing number of patients failing follow-up, significant language barriers, and patients’ discomfort with discussing complaints through telemedicine (Table 2) (Figures 2 and 3). ).

Table 2 Resident Satisfaction (n = 60)
Figure 2
Figure 2

Resident trust in telemedicine management compared to face-to-face visits

Figure 3
Figure 3

Fisher’s exact test and chi-square test were performed to determine post-graduation level (junior and senior) and practice-based learning parameters (amount of supervised attendance, increased clinical experience, and acceptable percentage of telemedicine practice). investigated the relationship with There was no statistically significant association (p = 0.37, p = 0.42, and p = 0.47, respectively; Table 3). In addition, we used the same test to assess the relationship between post-graduation level and other variables. This includes improved communication skills, preference for telemedicine practice, and the effect of telemedicine on future career decisions. Similarly, there was no significant statistical association (p = 0.78, p = 1.00, and p = 0.61, respectively; Table 4). Spearman’s correlation was used to test the association between post-graduation level and resident confidence variables. Results revealed a statistically significant correlation between post-graduation levels and treatment for hypothyroidism and urinary tract infection (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively; Table 4 and 5).

Table 3 Relationships between post-graduation levels and practice-based learning parameters
Table 4 Associations between levels after graduation and improved communication skills, preference for telemedicine practice, and effect of telemedicine on future career decisions
Table 5 Relationship between post-graduation level and residents’ confidence variables

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