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Royal Award for Edinburgh E-learning Innovation

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22 Nov 2013

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and the University of Edinburgh’s excellence in distance-learning has been recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The award – widely regarded as the highest national honour in UK education – was made for a set of five online courses, aimed at aspiring surgeons.

Working jointly, RCSEd and the University of Edinburgh developed this innovative method of teaching which allows trainee surgeons to continue practicing, while utilising online platforms to learn at a time and place convenient for them.

By using virtual patient case-studies for discussion, students learn how to make better clinical decisions. They can discuss patient scenarios with fellow e-learners, while under the guidance of a supervisor based in Edinburgh.

Such learning methods have proved particularly effective in developing countries, where doctors are often unable to travel abroad to add to their skills and knowledge.

Upon completion, the trainees will be well-positioned to embark upon training in practical surgical procedures.

Commenting on receiving this award, Programme Director of the Online Surgical Distance Learning Programmes and RCSEd Council Member, Professor O. James Garden said: “We are delighted and honoured to receive such recognition for our pioneering approach to surgical training. These courses help bridge the crucial years between graduating from medical school and reaching the level of consultant surgeon.

“Our growing suite of surgical distance-learning programmes are helping to re-shape the landscape of postgraduate surgical education and, in so doing, will ultimately improve patient care as today’s trainees become tomorrow’s surgeons.”


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