Recent changes and trends in health care delivery have required medical schools to use multiple sites to obtain adequate patient exposure for their students. Decentralization of clinical undergraduate medical education may lead to a lack of continuity in curricula, evaluation, and feedback. We describe the use of interactive videoteleconferencing as a tool to link and improve a multi-site undergraduate core clerkship in obstetrics and gynecology. The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, currently utilizes five geographically separate sites for its 6-week core clerkship in obstetrics and gynecology. The site coordinators, clerkship director, and administrative personnel from the parent institution meet approximately 3 weeks after the completion of each core clerkship for live, real-time, and interactive broadcast to complete student evaluations, review curricula, and discuss problems with current students and other pertinent educational issues. Videoteleconferencing provides a mechanism to ensure consistency in curriculum and student evaluations and provides administrative support to distant sites. Furthermore, it enables site coordinators to keep the clerkship director abreast of students and clerkship issues.
Videoteleconferencing to complete student evaluations in a multisite undergraduate core clerkship provides centralized administrative support, grading consistency, and timely feedback to coordinators and students.
Education Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland.
Address reprint requests to: Matrice W. Browne, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or Department of the Air Force.
Received June 14, 1999. Received in revised form September 13, 1999. Accepted September 15, 1999.