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The evolving landscape of medical education, part six

How much can we allow medical education to be defined by strategy?

Given the breadth of both the audiences being targeted through medical education activities and the potential channels through which medical education can be delivered, it is becoming increasingly important to think strategically about the delivery of medical education.

Identifying who you need to educate is a key step, but so is choosing the right people to deliver the training.

It is also important to understand what your different audiences need and want to be educated about, and crafting and delivering appropriate educational messages through the best communication channels at the right time.

When medical education is sponsored by industry, it is also critical that the medical education delivered addresses the educational needs in a manner that is sensitive to the commercial strategies and visions for the products marketed by the industry partner without losing its 'fair balanced' nature.

Perhaps there are clinical unmet needs that present a rationale for a new class of drugs or new way of approaching patient management and highlighting these unmet needs is therefore of strategic importance, as well as of educational importance.

Finding the right balance between highlighting these unmet needs and new paradigms without 'creating a need' or being promotional is essential.

Physicians involved in designing and delivering educational programmes need to be given the freedom to express their own opinions and highlight what they believe the audience needs to know. Therefore, working with KOLs to ensure they understand the commercial objectives behind the educational initiative, as well as the unmet educational needs, and offering support in developing fair-balanced and effective programmes, is one area in which healthcare communications agencies can bring value to their clients.

Above all, transparency – both in the industry support for the programme and in the involvement of the agency – is key.

 

Read previous instalments of The evolving landscape of medical education here

2nd November 2012

From: Marketing

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