MedBiquitous Community Connection: June 9 Webinar Q&A

Note: Some questions and answers from the webinar transcription have been paraphrased to be more succinct.

The recorded presentation may be viewed here.

Q: (Johmarx Patton) 
What should the MedBiquitous Program prioritize in its first year? 

A: (Marc Triola) 
Data sources and standards should inform everything beginning with the admission process through to professional practice. There is not a one size fits all path through medical school, especially now with the changing landscape moving toward remote instruction, hybrid formats, and new modalities. The production of clinical data by learners – especially during and after residency – is a key piece of data that has been missing, but which could inform the effectiveness of training programs. 

Learners should have agency over their records and profiles, which reflect the dynamic world around them. That information can be leveraged to better understand how to support learners and create opportunities to improve educational programming. Opportunity is, by necessity, a landscape of openminded disruption. What got us here will not get us there. 

Q: (Kathryn Andolsek) 
There is some evidence that students in medicine from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups do not always have the same academic performance in online environment learning as our more advantaged students. What do we need to put in place to ensure equity? 

A: (Marc Triola & Johmarx Patton)  
Triola: This is a critical issue where we need to do better. Many factors that start early in life play into being admitted to medical school. As medical schools begin using more machine learning and artificial intelligence, there is a growing body of evidence highlighting the need for unbiased data to be used in these systems that inform decision-making.
If biased data goes into the AI or machine learning system, it perpetuates biased analysis and leads to biased outcomes in the future – and potentially amplifies them. Because underrepresented communities of students have not been strongly represented in the data until now, we need to be thoughtful and intentional to build diversity into the design of these applications, systems, and algorithms. We need to ensure our understanding of the implications and consequences in technology choices and algorithms. This is a relatively small component of a much larger discussion, and is relevant to MedBiquitous’ work and bringing all of this data together. 

Patton: This is true across much of what was discussed in today’s webinar. However, specific to inclusivity and as someone underrepresented during the medical school experience, I felt I would have been judged or graded by my asking for help, so was not comfortable speaking up.  

Making spaces for inclusivity is important for MedBiquitous, as well as for other health professions schools deliberately creating spaces for students to feel safe in asking for help. The more we can do on our side will ultimately help facilitate the creation of these spaces, as well as set the tone that it is okay to ask for help. 

Q: (Joanne Newens) 
Currently, I am applying to medical school and I plan to pursue academic medicine. What do you want to see from students pursuing academic medicine, especially during these rapidly changing times? 

A: (Marc Triola) 
This is a growth-minded question and reflects meta-cognition, which is a good sign! The world is changing faster than ever. While cliché, it is true to say one needs to be a lifelong learner.  

The practice landscape may be dramatically different than the experience of an educational program during medical school and residency. Using telehealth or telemedicine as an example, the core skills of patient interaction - developing rapport and empathy, gathering info and doing diagnostic reasoning - should not be eroded by technology. 

The concept of telehealth or telemedicine has quickly changed. It is very likely that, over the last three months of the pandemic, those practicing telehealth or telemedicine have never practiced before or never heard those words during medical school and residency. This pace of change will continue. There will be whole new fields of medicine to practice, and lifestyles, and practice structures. It will be critical to embrace growth-mindedness and turbulence as key opportunities. 

Students should hold us accountable to create a supportive healthcare system in which they can continue growing and learning, and in which they enjoy working. 

The doctors, nurses, and patients at Langone Health supply the programming for the Sirius XM, Channel 121, 24-hour radio station. This is a prime example of a new opportunity and skill developed for the delivery of education and information, which is not the one-to-one patient education taught in medical school. This is trust, integrity, and the credibility to communicate on a broad scale. 
Q: (Gail March-Cohen) 
Are you going to update the MedBiquitous terms for AAMC CIR to relate to the digital activities used today? 

A: (Johmarx Patton)
MedBiquitous Standards and Vocabularies are a common good for the community. While the MedBiquitous Director and staff may bring new projects to the community, it is ultimately the community who decides what work should be pursued by the Program. 

This specific need has been recognized and will be prioritized.  

Q: (Joanne Newens) 
Can students (aspiring medical students or medical students) join MedBiquitous? 

A: (Johmarx Patton) 
Yes, you may participate through your health professions school if they are participating as a formal member of the MedBiquitous Program. If not, students are always welcome to join in the conversation.