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Digital Health Training in Scottish Undergraduate Medical Education

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V O'Carroll
    Dr S Murray
    Dr A O’Malley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Digital health technologies, such as telecommunication and mobile health applications, are being used increasingly by healthcare workers to assess, diagnose, monitor, and communicate with patients remotely. Digital health technologies represent a solution to the demographic problems associated with an aging population, increasing numbers of people living with long term conditions, and pressures associated with funding of healthcare providers. These technologies provide an effective way of enabling patients to remotely access healthcare services and be involved in decisions about their healthcare, without having to attend a health centre or hospital.

Despite increasing recognition that Digital Health is crucial to delivering efficient healthcare, there is a paucity of research into the provision and education of students in Digital Health, and regulatory bodies are yet to provide appropriate guidance to medical schools. This study will improve the situation through three objectives. Firstly, it will assess the current state of Digital Health learning in Scottish medical schools. Secondly, it will identify what medical schools and healthcare providers in Scotland perceive as important for medical students to learn about digital health. Finally, it will enable the design of a teaching session for medical students to practise using digital health technology to communicate with patients. The data generated from this study will provide an important contribution to the guidance and recommendations for medical schools, so they may best equip their trainee doctors to practise confidently and safely in this new digital environment.

This is a unique opportunity for a student to work with a supervision team with combined experience and expertise in curriculum design, digital technology, and educational and healthcare practice research using a mixture of research methods. The School of Medicine have existing technology which could potentially be used to simulate a consultation using telemedicine. There is also potential access to medical students, facilitators, and simulated patients for a PhD candidate to pilot a digital health training session. Upon commencement of the PhD, the student will undertake a training needs analysis to identify research and generic transferable skills needed.

Applicants must meet the following essential criteria:
• A good first degree (at least 2:1) or master’s degree, preferably with a social science, or health or social care component
• Demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of subject areas related to the project such as medical education, healthcare practice, digital health and digital technologies.
• Have a good grounding and/or interest in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research approaches, relevant to medical education and healthcare practice
•Able to demonstrate a high standard of effective academic writing skills

Start Date: It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in September 2020.
In light of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, it will be possible for the candidate to commence the initial stages of this PhD remotely. Supervision can be provided via video conferencing, online or by telephone.

How to Apply:
Applicants should send all of the following by email to [Email Address Removed]
• A CV and covering letter explaining why the applicant wishes to carry out this project
• A sample of academic writing from a current or recent programme of study

Closing Date: Wednesday 6th May 2020
Interviews are expected to take place 3-4 weeks after the closing date for applications.

Funding Notes

This is a three-year funded PhD studentship comprising of tuition fees and stipend at current research council rates (£15285 in 2020/21).

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