A project explores the interest and preparedness of medical students towards the adoption of digital technologies in clinical practice

In the modern healthcare landscape, telemedicine is playing an increasingly important role. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital tools for patient care, highlighting the need to train future doctors in the effective use of these technologies. It is precisely on this theme that the project ‘Exploring the digital readiness of tomorrow’s doctor’, presented during the Third General Meeting of MUSA, focuses.

Gabriele Infante, PhD student at the Università Statale di Milano, explains: “We explored, by means of a survey proposed to students in their last academic year at the University of Milan, four macro-dimensions: the demographic part, to see any differences between gender and educational level; the technical part, assessing technical-digital skills; the behavioural part, dealing with their attitude to the use of telemedicine, based on both their academic and personal experience”.

The results of the survey are very promising. The students show a marked interest in receiving training in telemedicine, wishing to integrate it into their future clinical practice, despite having had little direct contact with this practice to date. Only 58% of medical students in their first six years of study have in fact heard of telemedicine.

From the point of view of the ability to obtain and use health information from the Internet, the students are in line with the existing literature. However, a significant difference emerges in the confidence to apply this information in clinical practice. The hope is that with the introduction of specific courses these differences can be overcome.

The project has obtained the approval of the Ethics Committee to be extended to other Italian universities. The aim is to establish policies to meet the current needs of the post-pandemic situation and to satisfy the students’ desire for adequate training in telemedicine.

The project ‘Exploring the digital readiness of tomorrow’s doctor’ represents a fundamental step towards preparing future doctors for the use of digital technologies in clinical practice. Telemedicine is not only a response to emerging healthcare needs, but also an opportunity to improve access to care and the efficiency of the healthcare system as a whole.