Educational Needs and Learning Preferences of Oncology Physicians Outside the United States

Oncology is a fast-paced field with pharmaceutical, technical, and clinical advances that shape the educational needs and learning preferences of oncology physicians. Developers of oncology continuing medical education (CME) keep up with these changes through constant evolution of their educational content to align with the needs of their audience.

It is important for healthcare organizations to work with CME providers who can reach the right audience with educational tools tailored to meet their educational needs and learning preferences. prIME Oncology had a recent presentation at the European CME Forum on how to reach your target audience, that included a poster on data visualization.

Outside the United States, recent legislature on pharmaceutical funding of medical education and CME-related activities have led to dwindling education opportunities.  These changes have also caused alterations in the information needs and professional development trends of medical providers. There is a critical need to understand the educational needs and learning preferences of oncology physicians outside the United States to keep up with the evolving information-seeking patterns in the field, and to facilitate the development of oncology CME programs tailored to meet global oncology physician needs.

As the oncology specialty for physicians evolves, there is a corresponding increase in need for the development of oncology CME tailored to the education and learning needs of the physicians. In the absence of educational development tailored to educational needs and learning preferences, the knowledge gaps become more prevalent among oncology physicians resulting in poor patient health outcomes.

The Research

A prIME Oncology survey in 2017 of healthcare providers in five European countries examining the information-seeking patterns of oncology physicians, presented at the European CME Forum, showed that they preferred CME/IME education to education provided directly by pharmaceutical companies. The oncology physicians preferred live education and their limited access to live education has led to an increased reliance on online education to keep them informed about novel therapy, practice guidelines, and research developments.

Several features of oncology CME programs, such as the presenters, structure, and content, influence participation. Furthermore, the convenience of participating in online activities at home and after performing their clinical duties added to the appeal of online programs. The survey revealed that the preferred length for on-demand oncology CME is 30 minutes. This preferred length highlights the need to deliver all relevant education content for your audience with a 30-minute session.

This evidence-based information about the preferences of oncology physicians outside of the United States can be used by CME providers to develop oncology CME programs, tailored to meet the needs of a global audience. The key to reaching your target global audience is the use of evidence-based strategies.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Global Oncology CME

Participation in oncology CME outside the United States is strongly influenced by several program features, such as the educational format, content, and presenters. These factors influence a significant number of physicians in their selection of an oncology CME program. You can tailor activities to meet the needs of your audience by developing the CME program using information about the educational needs and learning preferences. Additionally, you can integrate evidence-based knowledge in your CME programs.

With limited access to live education, oncology physicians outside the United States have an increased reliance on online and on-demand oncology CME programs. You are best positioned to meet the needs of oncology physicians outside the United States when armed with global accreditation knowledge that facilitates the utilization of practice guidelines and standards to develop oncology CME and that comprehensively covers the barriers, national regulations, required accreditation, and the most suitable strategies reaching their audience outside the United States.

Integration of the research evidence into oncology CME for participants outside the United States enhances their ability to participate in the activities and makes it easier for CME providers to reach a global audience based on their learning preferences. Consider the after-hours preference of participants in oncology CME activities outside the United States when developing on-demand marketing strategies and implementing plans for on-demand activities including live webinars.

The preference for 30-minute (or shorter) on-demand oncology CME sessions can be integrated into oncology CME to make education appealing and interesting to the target audience.

Click here to get the poster on the educational and learning needs of your oncology physicians outside the United States.