A novel application of teleneurology: Robotic telepresence in supervision of neurology trainees

Neha M. Kramer, Bart M. Demaerschalk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Telemedicine is used for specialist consultation, patient evaluation, and remote monitoring. We propose that telemedicine has a valuable role in medical education through facilitating faculty supervision of trainees.

Materials and Methods: We surveyed resident physician trainees and faculty at a single institution who provided service for acute neurologic consultations over 29 months. The survey compared experiences using the supervisory methods of telephone, robotic telepresence (RTP), and in-person interaction. Participants answered 10 questions addressing their experience relevant to faculty-trainee interaction quality and clinical supervision, achieved with the three supervisory methods under study.

Results: Surveys were received from 20 of 36 trainees (56%) and 8 of 10 faculty members (80%). More than 90% of trainees and faculty strongly agreed that in-person communication was satisfactory for patient data review, problem synthesis, and refinement of the trainees' impressions, with RTP ranking a close second. Moreover, 38% of faculty and 70% of trainees reported the telephone method as unsatisfactory for reacquisition of patient history, data synthesis, and direct observation of trainees' clinical skills. RTP provided more than 90% of trainees with sufficient staff support and facilitated trainee autonomy.

Conclusions: Overall, 85% of both trainees and faculty preferred in-person supervision most, with RTP ranked second and telephone being least favored. Although in-person faculty supervision of trainees' management of neurologic emergencies is always preferred, it is not always practical. This survey highlights the valuable role of RTP in graduate medical education and RTP as preferred over telephone as an adjunctive supervision tool in residency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1092
Number of pages6
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • cerebrovascular disease/stroke
  • clinical neurology examination
  • critical care
  • education
  • methods of education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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