Saturday, August 25, 2018

Time to Crowdsource radiology education

We know the best and most important innovations are founded on open source platform. Creativity and discovery accelerate when data and knowledge are shared dynamically. The same truths are apparent with education. Internet has flattened the world and allowed access to written, and video recorded content in matter of seconds. Similarly the web has allowed people to rise above space and boundaries learn from each other (ie. peer learning) and more importantly, reinforce a truly enriching experience connecting like minded people.

Radiology was founded on an innovation (discovery of x-rays) and naturally, most radiologists are early adopters of technology driven approaches to our sub-specialty and education. The Society of Thoracic Radiology has hosted weekly live case webinars for over four years, free and accessible to the public. The conference is driven by cardiothoracic radiologists from around the country whose love for learning and  camaraderie are evident to anyone who participates in the webinar. The webinar reviews high level cardiothoracic cases followed by innumerable insights and invaluable discussions. Similarly MSK intergalactic case webinar is held every Friday and MSK radiologists from all over the country share and discuss interesting cases. The newest case webinar,  abdominal radiology, started this past May ( I regularly attend all three conferences, time permitting, and am astounded by the impressive quality of the education.

The one common trait that all three case webinars possess is the limitless scalability of the case conference (without added cost), the ultimate example of what defines value (quality /cost). The ability to offer access to anyone and everyone who wants to learn from the best and most knowledgeable people is undeniably clear. Recently, I've started getting Loma Linda radiology residents to tune into the case conference as part of the noon conference. Conferences are mandated by ACGME for residents so why not just learn from the best? The residents love it. In fact, and not surprising, these case conferences are probably  better quality than some local faculty conference for multiple reasons.

The incredible resource and opportunity that these case webinars offer are undeniably clear.  I can imagine a day when we all log in on a regular basis to get our daily dose of education, no longer limited by local resources, geography  or nature of practice. Residents and attendings alike can get top quality education. 

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