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Pandemic through, a question that had already loomed strongly, today became crucial: how are health professionals being trained in light of the profound social, technological and cultural changes we are witnessing?
In a field such as Medical Sciences, in which continuous training is essential, digital transformation can no longer be delayed. Online teaching will undoubtedly remain installed in the post-COVID-19 future and must continue to develop.RELATED
The benefits they present are enormous: geographic boundaries dissipate and each space becomes a potential classroom; a large amount of available content is free or easily accessible, and can be learned according to the times and rhythms of each student.
Research carried out recently concluded that, in our profession, we must move towards a permanent employment of mixed education, in an adequate balance between face-to-face and virtual dynamics, since a significant improvement in academic performance was observed when students studied with a blended learning style compared to a traditional teaching method.
As with the advancement of telemedicine, the new training paradigm presents us with great challenges and challenges. For teachers: learn, adapt and develop new pedagogical forms that guarantee the transmission of scientific knowledge. For students: among many others, developing the habit of discipline to give continuity to a more autonomous and decentralized way of studying.
Early incorporation of the computer tools used to practice virtual medicine is today a point that cannot be ignored. The digital revolution is moving towards a model in which analysis techniques known as “big data” will become common currency, as will the use of the patient’s digital medical history, artificial intelligence algorithms, 3D printing and biosensors.
Thanks to the available technology, we will have as never before a very high level of information on each patient, a fact that in addition to promoting the advancement of precision medicine, with more personalized treatments, calls on everyone to bear in mind the ethical dimension and a theme that was often looked down upon: the communication skills of health professionals.
Innovation and digitization must have all the leading role today, but without forgetting the importance of non-technical knowledge – empathy, containment, management of emotions – that will help us to channel, with better tools, the doctor-patient relationship before the new scenario that is emerging.
It is time to incorporate the so-called “soft skills” into the curricula. Doctors do not work alone. We work as a team, we lead interdisciplinary groups, we face good and bad diagnoses on a daily basis. And from an ethical criterion, in addition to practicing Medicine appropriately, we must also communicate professionally and understand the social changes that occur.
Comprehensive training is needed to connect with patients who today come to consultations – face-to-face or remote – with medical information that they previously searched on the Internet or with health and wellness applications that they consult daily on their cell phones. Technology is undoubtedly changing this bond that always requires trust, professional confidentiality, mutual respect and the independence of opinion of doctors.
In the advancement of technology both in training and in practice, the role played by public policies is no less. Governments face great challenges to guarantee digital inclusion and connectivity for all segments of the population. The digital revolution in health must be within everyone’s reach.
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