Rural and Remote Health: Free open access medical education

CITATION: Leeuwenburg TJ, Parker C.  Free open access medical education can help rural clinicians deliver ‘quality care, out there’. Rural and Remote Health 15: 3185. (Online) 2015. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/showarticlenew.asp?ArticleID=3185

ABSTRACT

Rural clinicians require expertise across a broad range of specialties, presenting difficulty in maintaining currency of knowledge and application of best practice. Free open access medical education is a new paradigm in continuing professional education. Use of the internet and social media allows a globally accessible crowd-sourced adjunct, providing inline (contextual) and offline (asynchronous) content to augment traditional educational principles and the availability of relevant resources for life-long learning. This markedly reduces knowledge translation (the delay from inception of a new idea to bedside implementation) and allows rural clinicians to further expertise by engaging in discussion of cutting edge concepts with peers worldwide.

EXTRACTS (selected by Neil PW)

‘Conceived in 2012, free open access medical education (FOAMed) is an evolving paradigm, which was initially enthusiastically adopted by emergency and critical care clinicians.

If you want to know how we practised medicine five years ago, read a textbook.

If you want to know how we practised medicine two years ago, read a journal.

If you want to know how we practise medicine now, go to a (good) conference.

If you want to know how we will practise medicine in the future, listen in the hallways and use FOAM.’

‘Social media use is gaining acceptance within medical education circles; FOAMed merely extends the paradigm to disseminate free information and encourage content creation, collation, curation and communication.’

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

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