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Online learning increasingly popular for doctors

Sponsorship can help companies raise their profile specific therapy areas

Online learning increasingly popular for doctorsDoctors constantly need to update their knowledge, but with pressure on study leave, cuts in education budgets, and increased demands at work, many doctors are not only funding their own continuing professional development (CPD), they are also being forced to complete it in their own time.

As a result, accredited online education courses, which enable doctors to learn in bite-sized chunks, at a time and pace that suits them, have become increasingly popular among doctors.

Figures from Doctors.net.uk show that a total of 16,030 unique users completed its online education modules in the first six months of 2014. The most popular topics were equality and diversity, palliative care, obesity, chronic kidney disease and blood gas interpretation. 

Equality and diversity has proved to be a particularly useful module for doctors in NHS trusts who are using it to fulfil part of their mandatory induction training as supervising doctors.

In addition to providing high quality information to support doctors' knowledge, sponsorship of an online education module can help a pharma company raise its profile in a specific disease and therapy area among its target audience. This enables it to develop a stronger and more customer-centric relationship with doctors.

For example, one pharma company has recently begun sponsoring an independently authored module on second-and third-line anti-diabetic agents for GPs and trainees in endocrinology. The module, which comprises multiple choice questionnaires and case studies, is designed to help doctors understand the factors affecting choice of second-and third-line anti-diabetic agents. It also educates them on the evolution and management of renal disease in diabetes patients, and the safety of various anti-diabetic medications in relation to renal disease.

Learning needs assessments, which are popular with doctors, provide another useful engagement opportunity. For example, one pharma company is sponsoring an educational quiz for junior doctors on Hyponatraemia. The quiz, which comprises 10 multiple choice questions, is designed to test doctors' knowledge and enables them to compare their understanding against other doctors who have also taken part. It has helped the company to identify audience knowledge gaps, which can be used to inform further activities to ensure they are tailored to doctors' needs.

Article by
Dr Tim Ringrose, CEO of M3 Europe

For more information on M3, the global provider of technology services in healthcare, and its new European Division which includes www.doctors. net.uk, www.mdlinx.com, and www.networksinhealth .com, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email Tim. ringrose@eu.m3.com

12th September 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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