Objectives To increase the amount and quality of didactic teaching by commissioning an in-house Diploma course using distance-learning methodologies to supplement regular departmental teaching sessions.
Design Web-based course consisting of 9 modules covering the breadth of neurosurgical topics. A Diploma was conferred by the Head of Service upon successful completion of all modules.
Subjects To date, eleven learners (junior doctors at F1/F2/SHO level) have started the Diploma, including doctors from outside our department.
Methods Learners download a module, dedicate a period of self-study and then discuss the module with their Tutor. To complete a module, a learner would be expected to demonstrate to the Tutor that their knowledge was at ST2 standard as described in the neurosurgical curriculum. Assessment of modules was documented on learners’ existing portfolios.
Results By way of feedback, all learners (100%) strongly agreed that the Diploma was useful for their day to day job, that it helped understand management of acute neurosurgical problems, that it was interesting, that they would recommend it to a friend/colleague and that support received from the Course Tutor was helpful.
Conclusions Learners reportedly enjoyed the self-directed, flexible aspect of the Diploma and found that it promoted interactive discussions with registrars and consultants. Feedback obtained externally through HEE and GMC was highly praiseworthy of the Diploma. We intend to continue to offer this course.
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