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Class Exam

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WSVN -- Six-year-old Stephanie Madrigal is dealing with dry skin from eczema.

Stephanie: "It's kind of itching a little bit of me."

But her exam with a dermatologist will be anything but typical. Instead of missing a day of class to get to a doctor, the kindergartner simply went to the clinic at her North Miami School and is seeing Dr. Anne Burdick by video conference!

Dr. Anne Burdick: "Nice to meet you Stephanie, I'm Dr. Burdick.

Stephanie: "Hi."

Gloria Hodgson, Stephanie's Aunt: "Amazement that technology has improved so much."

Dr. Anne Burdick: "So are you scratching as much as when I saw you in May?"

Stephanie: "Yes."

Stephanie and the doctor are connected by a high def video conferencing system and can see and talk to each other clearly. Another doctor in the room with Stephanie can move the camera over the child's skin, so the dermatologist can examine her.

Dr. Joycelyn Lawrence, UM Family Medicine: "The quality is actually very good. You can actually see a lot more than you can with the naked eye."

Thanks to the University Of Miami's "Telemedicine in Schools Program," students in six North Miami-Dade public schools are able to see a doctor by video when ever something is wrong.

Dr. Joycelyn Lawrence: "Asthma, ear infections, certain skin conditions."

Doctors can do most of the same things they could do if the patient were in their office.

Dr. Joycelyn Lawrence: "We have a stethoscope, so we can actually listen to the heart sounds, or the breath sounds. And we also have an otoscope, which allows us to visualize the inside of a kid's ear."

The exams are free for students, which helps children like Stephanie, whose family doesn't have health insurance.

Gloria Hodgson: "The affordability is the greatest thing."

Plus, it affords everyone a lot more time.

Denise Simmons, Program Manager: "They're able to go back to class and not take any time from school. This is a huge benefit for parents as well, because they don't have to take time off from work."

Little Stephanie can now go back to class with a treatment and a smile.

School doctors also say it helps them see more patients because they don't have to travel from school to school.

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