Figures from Doctors.net.uk reveal a record number of doctors are turning to online learning to support their continuing professional development.
Since launching its accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) modular programme six years ago, Doctors.net.uk, the UK’s largest and most active online network of medical professionals, has delivered a staggering 1.6 million hours of accredited learning and has seen over 830,000 individual modules completed. In 2009 alone, over 23,000 doctors completed one or more online CME programmes.
The statistics highlight a significant trend among doctors who, it would appear, are increasingly turning to online resources to improve their clinical practice and achieve Continuing Professional Development points. It chimes with previous research revealing that 79 per cent of GPs rate accredited CME modules as one of their top three online resources.
The trend to digital is indicative of the increasing time pressure faced by doctors in both primary and secondary care. For example, recent research by medeConnect found that the European Working Time Directive was reducing learning time for over 75 per cent of junior doctors.
James Quekett, educational lead and clinical adviser for Doctors.net.uk said: “The sheer volume of online learning hours accumulated by members of Doctors.net.uk highlights the fact that doctors are making the most of trusted online services to enhance patient care and to fulfil CPD requirements.
Doctors.net.uk offers hundreds of different CME modules, covering specialities including anaesthesia, critical care, emergency care and substance misuse, as well as the core training modules required to achieve annual CPD points. Plans are advanced around extending the programme to include courses of learning which integrate offline and online elements, as well as introducing a broader range of learning formats.
The most popular modules taken by Doctors.net.uk members span pandemic influenza; burns, blasts and major incidents; incident management, and clinical management of radiological incidents. Doctors also have access to conference highlights and an online Personal Development Programme designed to ease the accreditation process.