Phone It In: A Medical Student Primer on Telemedicine Consultation in Pediatrics

Lauren M. McDaniel, Matthew Molloy, Daniel J. Hindman, Suzanne R. Kochis, W. Christopher Golden, Amit K. Pahwa, Tina Kumra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Telephone triage requires a unique skillset that is not universally taught in medical school. This curriculum was developed to introduce third- and fourth-year medical students participating in their pediatrics core clerkship to the benefits, challenges, and mechanics of telephone triage. Methods: After completing a presession textbook reading and listening to a brief lecture, students participated in two telephone role-play scenarios with parents. The exercise required students to recognize the differences in acuity level of patients and provide appropriate guidance, management, and disposition instructions. Following the session, students completed a telephone note. Students evaluated this curriculum at the completion of the clerkship. Results: The majority of the 74 students who completed the 5-point Likert scale evaluation felt that the curriculum met its stated objectives (a score of 4 or 5 given by 82%), increased their knowledge (73%), engaged them (86%), and was of high quality (82%). Students specifically commented that the experience was useful, interactive, and applicable to their clerkship experience and future career. The most common area of constructive feedback was not understanding the purpose of a telephone note. Discussion: This easily implemented curriculum provided a foundational experience in the nuances of triaging and managing pediatric patients via the telephone. This serves as an important framework to prepare students for more complex telemedicine technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11067
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - Jan 7 2021


  • Consultation
  • Remote Consultation
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Telephone
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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