Access, an Unintended Consequence of Virtual Continuing Medical Education During COVID-19: A Department's Experience at the University of Toronto

Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (10/09/20) Kisilevsky, Eli; Margolin, Edward; Kohly, Radha P.

New research highlights the University of Toronto Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences' experience on the primary benefit of virtual continuing medical education (CME) during the COVID-19 pandemic: greater access to those who have historically been excluded from traditional CME offerings. The transition of CME activities to a virtual format led to more participation of both speakers and participants locally, nationally and internationally. Those who enjoyed more participation included women, people with young children, those with limited funding, and those residing in remote locations. Moreover, the flexibility of online rounds accommodated additional rounds focusing on faculty development and wellness. Greater uptake of virtual administration of CME provides an opportunity to lift barriers to access to high-quality resources, regardless of local medical education resources or personal barriers to access. "Access is vital, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that this is a viable framework and created the opportunity to change the way medical education in ophthalmology is created and consumed," the authors conclude.

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