Megan Duet is a Project Manager at the Center for Telehealth, University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)
in Jackson. In her role, she also provides outreach support for the South Central Telehealth Resource Center.
Over the past year, Megan and the staff from the Center for Telehealth have attended multiple health career fairs focused on high school students to introduce them to telehealth and potential career opportunities.
In this interview, Megan discusses how the UMMC team uses information and technology to share the telehealth experience with high school students across the state of Mississippi.
Why are you reaching out to high school students?
According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), medical professionals are in greater demand now more than ever. Attending high school health career fairs is the perfect opportunity to start speaking to our future health care leaders about the advances in health care professions, especially telehealth.
Engaging with these students early on in their career planning stage helps us to educate them about a career most have never heard about. Overall, most of the students are not familiar with telehealth and have no knowledge of how this could affect their future career in medicine.
How do you start the conversation?
The students that we speak to are already interested in a career in health care, so we start with a focus on Telehealth 101. We provide them with information about the growing field and ask them to start thinking about how telehealth can be used in their future practice of medicine.
Many of the students can relate to the lack of access to care so they understand the role telehealth can play in bridging the gaps of health care. We provide hands-on activities with telemedicine carts, remote applications as well as connect them with a provider. These technology savvy students also like the idea of being able to use their mobile device or tablet to receive health care – anywhere!
All of these experiences allow students to get a great general overview of what telehealth can do for patients and providers!
Michael Adcock, Administrator of Telehealth Services, speaks to students.
What information do you share with students regarding potential career opportunities in the field of telehealth?
Once students are educated on telehealth, we begin to discuss potential career opportunities. Students are happy to hear that you don’t necessarily need be a clinical person to have a career in telehealth. We explain all of the job opportunities including clinical, technical, administrative, research, etc. Students love that this branch of medicine provides an opportunity outside of the traditional practice of medicine.
How do you encourage students to stay engaged in the telehealth field?
We encourage all students to continue to research telehealth and stay up to date on the latest happenings in telehealth. As potential health care providers, it is important that students look into schools that may offer telehealth courses or training programs. We also encouraged students to get experience by shadowing local providers using telehealth. This will give students the test of what an occupation in telehealth is like.
You mention shadowing local providers. What else can providers do to encourage students interested in telehealth?
I encourage all telehealth leaders to begin the telehealth discussion with our youth and high school students. It is a great opportunity to give back to the community as well as spark an interest in students about the biggest trend in health care.
How can Mississippi students/providers get in touch with you to learn more about the UMMC Center for Telehealth or speak with you about attending an event?
You can find the UMMC Center for Telehealth on social media and the web! Contact us through one of these interfaces, and we will respond as quickly as possible.
- Facebook: UMMC Center for Telehealth
- Twitter: @UMMCTelehealth
- Web Site: umc.edu/telehealth