The Department of Family Medicine started a one-year blended learning course, FamMed Essentials, for general practitioners in order to empower them and improve their knowledge and skills through competency-based continuing medical education. A major part of the course is designed to be accessible online and the flexible construct ensures that busy practitioners can avail course content at their convenience and ease. Another important aspect of the course is face-to-face five-days simulation-based session which was conducted (for the first two cohorts) in collaboration with the CIME team from 23-27 November 2020.
Considering the covid pandemic whilst ensuring full hands-on experience for participants, the entire cohort of 25 was split into three smaller groups. A total of 30 skills were identified to be pertinent to everyday general practice. High and low fidelity simulators and simulated patients were used to impart and practice these skills.
In the relatively safer environment of simulated learning, through simulators, task trainers and simulated patients, participants had an excellent opportunity to practice with confidence and brush up their skills. The skills were categorized under four heads such as: Data gathering and counselling skills (SP and role plays), examination skills, diagnostic and therapeutic manoeuvres, and minor surgical skills.
The rigorous five-day simulation-based skill sessions provided an opportunity to the learners to enhance their knowledge and skills. We hope that these activities result in making the general practitioners safe and efficient doctors so that they can play their roles at the frontlines of our healthcare system with perfection. These, in turn, will lead to improved health outcomes at a national level.