Telemedicine makes UK a global teaching hospital
Weekly rounds at the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Chandler Hospital have been a bit different lately.
In addition to those physically in attendance, doctors from King Abudullah Hospital in Irbid, Jordan; Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia; Sirio Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Morehead Clinic in Kentucky have been in attendance via video teleconferencing (VTC).
A recent lecture by Dr. Joseph Berger on Behçet’s disease, a rare neurological disorder most commonly found in the Middle East and Asia, is one example of how UK is fulfilling its mission of bringing education and learning to the world.
With a population of 80 million and only around six neurologists, countries like Ethiopia can benefit greatly from the expertise and teaching of doctor’s like Dr. Berger. The education provided is functioning to train new specialists, as with the neurology program at Addis Ababa which just graduated its first doctors.
In addition to helping train new doctors, the use of VTC technology is also helping to keep doctors in other countries informed and up-to-date with the latest treatments and research. This is extremely important for training doctors in countries without the benefit of journals, workshops and seminars.
Although UK using telemedicine to increase the global presence of their neurology department is a relatively new program, the university has been using telemedicine extensively. Telemedicine has been used at Chandler Hospital to conduct 40,000 patient exams a year.
The use of VTC at the UK’s Chandler Hospital is a great example of video breaking down walls to allow the world’s collective medical knowledge to be shared across borders. Now that is a new way of teaching and caring.