Why Your GP Is Online

Anyone who has been to the GP lately knows that they have diagnostic applications on their smartphones and they can always consult with Dr. Google in a pinch.

When it comes to upskilling, however, online training is fast becoming a big part of post medical school training.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, for example, offers 807 face-to-face courses, 830 eLearning courses, 123 Blended learning courses and 51 that don’t fit into any of those categories.

All you need is a login and lifelong learning is at your fingertips, much of it interactive.

Everything from palliative care to administering correct drug dosages to skin pathology is on offer and GP’s get credit for taking the courses.

Each course is set up to make it very clear what the outcomes are, and L&D specialists can learn a thing or two from how these courses are organised.

Drill into any RACGP  title and you get a succinct description of what the course offers–that should be standard operating practice for anyone designing a course.  Here’s an example:  Exploring Inhaled Medicines Use and Asthma Control.   No doubting what the course is about.

Then comes a very short and sharp description under the title,  Relevance of the Course to General Practice.  This gives the course context:

“Asthma affects 10% of Australians and is a national health priority area. Poor asthma control is common, and increases the risk of flare-ups requiring oral corticosteroids, hospitalisation or emergency department visits. Deaths from asthma remain high in Australia compared with many other countries.
GPs can help improve health outcomes of patients by correctly assessing levels of asthma control, identifying risk factors for poor asthma outcomes, and determining appropriate management in consultation with the patient.”

Learning outcomes are then clearly stated in a numbers format.

  1. Support patients in guided asthma self-management by providing an individualised written asthma action plan
  2. Define levels of asthma symptom control and identify risk factors for poor outcomes
  3. Explore asthma inhaler technique as part of a regular review
  4. Document assessment of asthma control in patient records
  5. Determine appropriate management based on asthma symptom control and risk factors for poor outcomes

Then comes the curriculum outcomes which improve personal knowledge and skills and communicating with the public.

So what can designers learn from this?  Three basic rules:

  • Make sure the course title accurately reflects the course content
  • Give the course context within the learning framework (this can be a course introduction)
  • Clearly state the learning and curriculum outcomes of the course

A pretty easy prescription for success.