COVID-19: Education in the time of coronavirus

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Vishal Luther

Vishal Luther (final year cardiology registrar/ Electrophysiology fellow, Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust, London NW Thames Deanery, UK) and his colleague Balrik Kailey (cardiology registrar) have organised a programme of webinars—CardioWebinars during COVID19—to help cardiology fellows continue education over this unprecedented period. Dr Luther talks to Cardiovascular News about the programme.

Why did you set up cardiology webinars during the pandemic?

On the 30 March 2020, the cardiology specialist advisory committee within the Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board informed all Cardiology fellows that training was on pause. We conceived the “CardioWebinars during COVID19” programme to continue education and help maintain trainee morale over this otherwise difficult period.

What topics have been planned?

At present, the topics have been dictated by the expertise of the speaker. In early April, we reached out to the cardiology community on social media to help develop a programme, and received an incredible response from experts in various cardiology subspecialities volunteering to speak on their subject. We have been able to schedule three webinars a week from mid-April to early June, with topics that span the core cardiology curriculum. This week begins with webinar 10—the full schedule is available on our website or via our Twitter handle (@CardioWebinar).

Who can access the webinars?

The webinars are accessible to all. For the live events, UK trainees receive weekly updates of the programme via the British Junior Cardiac Association (BJCA) newswire. Consultants and anyone else interested(UK and abroad)can request access by sending a direct message to our Twitter account or email (cardiowebinar@gmail.com).  Live viewers can also request “certificates of viewing” as required. All the webinars are recorded and hosted on the BJCA TV gallery—these have been incredibly well received with some reaching almost 500 views in less than three weeks.

What has been the feedback to the Webinars?

The feedback to the programme has been very positive; we have been told it has been “something to look forward to” during the week. We were delighted that the British Cardiovascular Society agreed to support the programme, in recognition of its value.  Our Twitter account was only created two weeks ago and has already 350 followers. We hope it can continue to help a little during this time.

Potentially, could video medical education be something that continues after current travel/social restrictions are lifted?

Absolutely. We have had interest from expert speakers from all around the world, so are confident this is something we can sustain in the long term (perhaps weekly). This approach to learning could change the way we deliver fellows “training days” or acquire CPD, which can be challenging to attend owing to rota commitments and travel. We are still looking for volunteers, so anyone interested can contact us at cardiowebinar@gmail.com


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