E-learning in further training for doctors.

E-learning in further training for doctors. The potential of online communities for informal and self-organised learning.

  • Due to the progress in medicine, information technology and communication technology, doctors will increasingly be required to qualify themselves in the years to come. In addition, the structure of patients, due to the demographic change, will undergo great changes. As a consequence, doctors will have to adapt themselves to new professional conditions and require special qualifications.
  • The response of health politics to the qualification requirements has consisted in laying down a statutory regulation (duty for doctors to undergo further training measures). On the other hand, further training measures have always been voluntary and are firmly rooted as a moral obligation in medical ethics and the licence of doctors to practice the medical profession.
  • New media for learning purposes (E-learning) are increasingly being used in further training measures for doctors. Due to the statutory regulations which have recently been introduced, favourable frame conditions have been created for didactically and psychologically rather simple E-learning solutions in the form of web-based trainings (WBT) which are characterised by the term online-CME (Continuing Medical Education).
  • By contrast, there exist innovative E-learning projects in the form of online communities supporting doctors to find solutions to common medical problems. Doctors have often complained about lacking opportunities to meet like-minded or to regularly attend in-class lectures. A solution to these problems may consist in online communities as informal, self-organised learning forms.
  • The project deals with the obligation and/or will to attend further training measures, as well as the comparison of formal and informal learning processes.