When comparing how many scientific studies are published today versus years ago, it’s obvious that we’re facing a time of information overload. We need better ways to relay information, so that consumers can get the content that is most useful to them. —Jennifer A. Villwock, MD
Explore This IssueDecember 2019
Webinars are web-based seminars used for medical education. “They offer the ability to join a seminar in another location,” Dr. Husain said. “Attendees aren’t limited by geography and can attend from the convenience of their home or office.”
Webinars can be live or recorded, and can be interactive. “They can permit listeners to have discussions with each other, an instructor, or a facilitator,” said Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, coordinator for education at the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and professor of otolaryngology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“In theory, virtual education seems to be a no-brainer,” said Todd Ponsky, MD, professor of surgery in the department of surgery, and director of Clinical Growth and Transformation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. “The cost for a physician to travel to a conference and miss work is becoming more difficult to justify. People are traveling to conferences less as productivity requirements increase.”
5 Live Streaming
Digital technology, such as live audience polling or live streaming of presentations, is increasingly incorporated into the traditional meeting format. Live streaming is watching an event that is being recorded live. It can be done via an app such as Facebook and shared on a network, so no complex equipment is required. “The downside is that because it is recorded and shared live, there is no editing process,” Dr. Husain said. “Oftentimes, it is done without the direct consent of the person being recorded.”
As a result of streaming capabilities, Dr. Johns said that audience participation at meetings is increasing. “Attendees are creating posts and uploading photos from events,” he said. “Ultimately, a meeting’s impact is expanded through digital technology.”
6 Online CME
An acronym for online continuing medical education courses, these are web-based educational opportunities that allow participants to earn credits to maintain their medical certification. They aim to maintain, develop, or increase a physician’s knowledge, skills, and professional performance, Dr. Husain said. Participants typically read, watch, or listen to educational material, and then complete a survey or post-test in order to gain credits. Compared with physically attending a class at a meeting, this format is more convenient and requires less time and expense.