Training Residents in the Use of Telepsychiatry: Review of the Literature and a Proposed Elective
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Many regions in the United States are deficient in mental health services, especially those in rural areas. As a result of these deficiencies, many patients in need of psychiatric services are often left untreated. Although it is clear that telepsychiatry has great potential in improving patient access to mental health care in areas where psychiatric services are deficient, the lack of familiarity with the technology and inadequate training are current barriers to expanding the use of telepsychiatry. A review of telepsychiatry, its clinical applications, and evidence-based literature regarding competencies in graduate medical education related to telepsychiatry are provided. An approach to implementing telepsychiatry into a curriculum is suggested. We also propose an elective clinical experience with resources for didactics or independent study that will enable residents to develop a knowledge base and competence in the practice of telepsychiatry.
KeywordsTelepsychiatry Telehealth Telemedicine Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Health information technology (HIT) Videoconferencing
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