Nevin Manimala Statistics

A webinar series to educate applicants about the UK academic foundation programme: a longitudinal cross-sectional study

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Dec 29;22(1):903. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03961-z.


BACKGROUND: The UK academic foundation programme (AFP) is a competitive programme for medical graduates and forms the initial stage of the integrated clinical academic pathway. The application is complex and targeted education is beneficial. As online technologies improve, virtual medical education is becoming more common. Currently, webinar education, particularly that of webinar series, are poorly evidenced. An online course was created to investigate the acceptability and effectiveness of webinars for medical education.

METHODS: A six-part, one-hour sessional webinar course was developed following a focus group with academic foundation doctors. A pre- and post-course cross-sectional questionnaire study evaluated participant demographics, webinar opinion and self-rated understanding of the AFP via Google Form (Google, USA). Where applicable a five-point Likert scale (1-Strongly disagree to 5-strongly agree) was utilised and analysis using non-parametric paired statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Medical students (n=303) from 35 UK universities completed the pre-course questionnaire. Most students had not received targeted education on the AFP. They rated webinars useful for education (mean=4.2 s.d. 0.7). After the course, participants (n=66) expressed it was significantly convenient (mean=4.7), effective (mean=4.7) and suitably interactive (mean=4.4) (p<0.001 compared to neutral). Participants preferred short sessions over multiple days to the concept of a full-day event (mean=4.6 vs 3.1, p<0.001). Paired analysis of participants completing both forms (n=47) demonstrates a significant increase in self-rated understanding of AFP content, portfolio building, application process, acute clinical scenarios, interview technique and overall confidence in acquiring an AFP post (p<0.001). Follow-up identified 43 participants who completed the course were successful in their AFP application. This represents 7.8% of all successful AFP applicants in 2021.

CONCLUSIONS: This study evidences an accessible and effective webinar series for AFP education. Comprehensive webinar courses for similar topics and demographics may provide valuable utility in the provision of future medical education.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Ethics requirements were waived for this study by Bristol University Ethics Committee. All participants in this study consented for anonymous use of their data. As such the trial is not registered.

PMID:36581834 | DOI:10.1186/s12909-022-03961-z

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