Bulgarian Association of Clinical Immunology

UEMS OPINION ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE.

19 June 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the work of European medical professionals and their colleagues around the world. The workload has increased as a result of diagnosing and treating patients with this serious disease.

The pandemic has also had a huge impact on continuing medical education (CME) and continuing professional development (CPD) for doctors. Live meetings were canceled and most events were held virtually. The number of VET/VET trainings - especially those provided by external providers - was significantly reduced in most European countries.

The pandemic has major implications for the future of MRSA/PPR for European professionals, even as it gradually begins to subside as a result of the successful vaccination campaign.

The UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists) highlights the following regarding the impact of COVID - 19 on the EHR/CPR of European professionals:

Participation in SDO/PPR
It is extremely important for professionals to participate in SDR/PRD, especially during a pandemic, even when traditional live events are not available to the same extent. The pandemic has made it even more important to participate in external (including virtual) HSE/PRD events, as on-the-job training and usual professional collaboration with colleagues may be limited. CPR/CPR for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of COVID-19 infections should be a priority for European professionals in order to be well prepared to treat current and future patients with COVID-19. It is also important to work in interdisciplinary and interprofessional expert groups on ED/PRD for COVID-19. Individual professionals must also make a commitment not only to participate, but also to register and account for their annual training in SDO/PPR.

Responsibility of employers
Employers should provide an opportunity for SSO/PPR for professionals, especially during and after such difficult circumstances. This includes time provided for online, hybrid and live trainings on SDO/PPR. Specialists must have the necessary technical equipment, good internet coverage and the necessary skills to participate in the new ways of online training in SDO/PPR.

The pandemic has shown that it is essential that healthcare continuously adapts to new knowledge, and therefore OH&S for doctors should be a priority even for employers. The pandemic has also shown that it is possible to reduce the administrative burden on doctors so that they can concentrate on their main task - treating patients. This should be a signal to employers to reduce the administrative tasks for doctors and allow them to use the freed time for SDO/PPR. The most important thing is to always ensure the safety and well-being of doctors, especially during a pandemic. FTA/PRD can also be a tool in this regard.

New methods for QA/QA and quality assurance
"Back to normal" will not mean going back to where the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, live interaction between colleagues is extremely important and necessary, and therefore live meetings and trainings are still in demand. In the "new normal", while traditional ED/PRD is still very important, new formats (primarily self-learning approaches using Internet tools and resources) should be developed and supported as they are financially beneficial to participating physicians. Quality assurance and participant feedback on new learning methods are very important, especially regarding the degree of interactivity of the new methods. New virtual learning methods should also be evaluated in terms of how their goals and outcomes are defined. The development of new methods and modes of ED/PR (virtual meetings, webinars, simulations, etc.) is also needed to improve health care preparedness for future global health crises. Lessons learned from the pandemic should also include those related to PPE/DPR.

The Bulgarian Medical Union fully supports the opinion of UEMS, which you can see in the original HERE