‘Virtual consultation’ training for junior doctors launched at University of Leicester Medical School

Posted by ap507 at Oct 03, 2013 09:55 AM |
Students to be taught how to hold consultations online with 'virtual patients'

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 October 2013

University of Leicester’s Medical School is putting online consultation at the heart of its teaching curriculum for first year medical students – a first for any university in the UK.

From early October, the University’s Department of Medical Education will be teaching all its first year students how to hold online consultations using Patients Know Best, the world’s first fully patient-controlled online medical records system.

176 of the University of Leicester’s students of Medicine will be taught how to hold consultations online with 'virtual patients' – ordinary people who will simulate live consultation scenarios with the students.

The University of Leicester was recently ranked one of the country’s top ten institutions for studying medicine*.

Dr. Ron Hsu, Innovation Lead and Senior Teaching Fellow at the Medical School said:

“We see that technologies, such as Patients Know Best, that enable online consultation with patients are going to play an ever increasing role in the careers of doctors. GPs and specialists alike are going to need to know how to communicate and interact with patients using these technologies. Our hope is that by putting online consultation early in our undergraduate teaching, we will not only prepare our students for the future but help them improve the level of care they provide patients.”

The project will be closely evaluated by the University and medical students will develop a range of online consulting skills. For example, they will be taught how to garner information from patients online, how to deal with complex medical cases, how to respond to questions and follow-ups and what type of online consultation methods to choose. The University will be closely monitoring the language that junior doctors use in their online communications as this must be appropriate for a clinical setting.

Dr. Mohammad Al’Ubaydli, founder and CEO of Patients Know Best said:

"The biggest barrier to doctors conducting online consultations is that no-one taught them how to do so. Leicester's approach is world pioneering and we are proud to make Patients Know Best available to help train its students. Together we will create a curriculum and make it available to other medical schools through an open access licence."


Notes to editors

Available for interview:

  • Dr Jane Bethea, Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester
  • Dr Mohammad Al’Ubaydli, founder and CEO, Patients Know Best

About the University of Leicester

We are a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Leicester is the most socially inclusive of Britain's top-20 leading universities. The University of Leicester is The Times/Sunday Times 2014 University of the Year Runner-Up and the THE University of the Year 2008-9.  Leicester is the only University to win seven consecutive awards from the Times Higher. In awarding the title the judges cited Leicester’s ability to “evidence commitment to high quality, a belief in the synergy of teaching and research and a conviction that higher education is a power for good”. Leicester was, said the judges, "elite without being elitist".  Leicester is ranked 13th out of 119 institutions by The Guardian University Guide; 14th out of 121 institutions by The Times/Sunday Times and the University is ranked among the top two-per cent in the world by the QS World University Rankings and THE World University Rankings. http://www2.le.ac.uk/about/facts

About Patients Know Best

Patients Know Best is the world’s first patient-controlled medical records system. It is a fully secure online tool which enables patients to better organise, manage and control their own health care provision – it also saves the time of physicians through allowing secure, online consultations. Founded by Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, a physician, programmer and expert in IT in healthcare, Patients Know Best has won social enterprise awards for its focus on patient care. Patients Know Best’s first customers include Great Ormond Street Hospital, St Marks Hospital and NHS South Devon. Patients Know Best integrates fully into the NHS secure network and is available for use by any patient with any clinician anywhere in the world. It is now used by over 30 hospitals in the UK, USA, Holland, Australia and Hong Kong. Patients Know Best complies fully with UK NHS and data protection requirements as well as the EU data protection act and US HIPAA legislation for dealing with medical data. www.patientsknowbest.com


Chris Smith, Swarm Communications,


Ather Mirza, University of Leicester News Centre


Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, Patients Know Best


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