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Neurology clerkship embraces distance learning using innovative technology

April 27, 2020

Medical student Julia Hemman using an ophthalmoscope and the OpthalmoSIM technology to view a simulated patients eye
Julia Hemman, third year medical student, uses an ophthalmoscope and the OpthalmoSIM technology to view a simulated patient's eye.

By Darcy Gray

Even amid distance learning, medical students in the neurology clerkship at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita can carefully review simulated pictures of patients' eyes and identify the pathology of the eye.

Medical students use an ophthalmoscope and OpthalmoSIM technology to view a simulated patient's eye, just as it would be seen by a physician in the office, explained Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and the neurology clerkship director at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

"Our students have been incredibly resilient in the face of the changing curriculum and have readily adapted to the use of technology for distance education," she said. "Through the use of this technology, educators can help students learn how to identify key anatomical and pathological features of disease."

Using OpthalmoSIM, students look at simulated pictures of patients' eyes with normal movement, such as blinking, and learn about the anatomy of the eye and key features of pathology, including macular degeneration, papilledema, ophthalmologic tumors and more. The software allows the instructor to highlight key findings on the images to help students Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt, M.D., Ph.D., looking at laptopdistinguish normal from abnormal pathology, Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said.

"Through innovation and technology, we are able to overcome distance and continue to train our future doctors," said Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt, who is also director of the Center for Clinical Research. "Our students are inspirational in the ways they have embraced new and innovative teaching methods by faculty, and they continue to engage in patient care and development of clinical skills despite distancing."

The neurology clerkship's distance learning is supported by the Department of Internal Medicine at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, as well the Medical Alumni Innovative Teaching Fund (MAITF) through the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Above, left: Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and the neurology clerkship director at KU School of Medicine-Wichita

KU School of Medicine-Wichita
Last modified: Apr 28, 2020
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