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New Technology Boosts Learning, Says Doctors Leader

Doctors' education has been boosted greatly by new e-learning tools, but practical training continues to be important for the profession, according to the Royal College of Physicians.

Professor Carol Black, President of the Royal College of Physicians, will tell delegates at the forthcoming eHealth 2002 Conference that new technology has brought great benefits to the education and development of physicians.

The NHS spends £2 billion every year on training and education with a growing proportion of this now being spent on online programmes.

Professor Black will cite flexible web-based education programmes and online registering of continuing professional development as examples of where technology has successfully supported doctors' education.

Practical ward training is, however, just as valuable as more formal training programmes, Professor Black will say.

The RCP has developed a web-based educational package of its own as well as launching an online continuing professional development pilot project with The Scheme covers development for both clinical and non-clinical physician roles and can be registered for via either an online or a paper-based system.

Professor Black will also discuss the impact of three new important developments; These are the announced Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, (overseeing medical education and training for all doctors) new proposals to modernisation the Senior House Officer grade, and the NHS University.

The DoH plans to establish the university by August 2003 which will be run as a 'bricks and clicks' basis as both a real, concrete institution and a virtual body.

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