1Core Surgical Trainee/CT2, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
Consultant, General Medicine/Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich, London, SE18 4QH, UK
Introduction: Postgraduate medical education involves the use ofonline-learning tools. However, there is a paucity of data on theuse of online-learning among doctors who are in their 1st and 2ndyears of professional work after graduating from medical school(also known as Foundation doctors). Our aim was to explore theuse of online-learning among Foundation doctors.Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out, usingconvenience sampling. During one month, 66 Foundationdoctors from across 2 district hospitals and 1 teaching hospital inSoutheast England filled out a specially designed questionnaire.Data were collected and analyzed using Microsoft Excel™, and reported in numbers and percentages.Results: The majority of Foundation doctors (86.4% (n=57))reported using online-learning packages. These are the toolswhich consist of key information on a particular topic, and maybe interactive and broken down into several smaller modules.Less than half embarked on online-learning in their 1st month ofemployment, with a decline in the numbers who started in thelater months. Of those who reported completing online-learningpackages, 57.9% (n=33) reported completing non-compulsorymodules, 66.7% (n=38) reported completing a range of 0-15modules per week, and 75.4% (n=43) completed the moduleswithout skipping components. More Foundation doctors reportedusing online-learning for lifelong learning (63.6% (n=42)) andfilling knowledge gaps (51.5% (n=34)) than improving theirpractice following a mistake (24.2% (n=16)). Additionally, onlinelearningwas used less frequently than medical websites or searchengines, for the aforementioned purposes.Conclusion: Most Foundation doctors use online-learning, butthis needs to be incorporated into their postgraduate learningactivities earlier in their career and directed more towardsimproving their clinical practice.Keywords: Cross-sectional studies, Education, Distance, Hospitals, Teaching
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