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The evolving landscape of medical education, part three

Who are we trying to educate?

Medical education axon communications 

Continuing our medical education mini series, Dr Shanida Nataraja, Axon Communications, considers the challenges of different audiences.

Traditionally, the primary target for medical education has been physicians. However, significant changes in the way in which our healthcare systems are structured and operate have meant that other important recipients for medical education are emerging, including specialist nurses, pharmacists, patients, carers and even payers.

With these different audiences comes the need for different channels to deliver medical education. Whilst educational symposia and peer-reviewed publications might be an effective way of delivering medical education to physicians, printed 'enduring materials', digital resources and remote learning options often have a better reach when delivering education to nurses, pharmacists, patients and carers.

An effective medical education programme evaluates who needs to be 'educated' and targets specific educational messages to these stakeholders through the most appropriate communication channels.

In recent years, we have also seen the focus shift from treatment decisions made by individual healthcare professionals (HCPs), to those made by multidisciplinary teams.

Effective patient management often requires close collaboration between different specialties, and thus different mind-sets. Effective medical education should acknowledge this multidisciplinary working. If a shift in understanding is required, education must be delivered, or at least cascaded, to all key members of that multidisciplinary team.

Secondly, rather than merely targeting individual team members separately, medical education should seek to create opportunities to bring these team members together, facilitating dialogue between them and creating opportunities for discussion of common issues and challenges, as well as producing tools to streamline patient management and decision-making within the group.

 

Read instalments one and two

Author: Dr Shanida Nataraja is the editorial and scientific director at Axon Communications and can be contacted at snataraja@axon-com.com 

4th October 2012

From: Marketing

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