Doctors in rural areas face many challenges, and the lack of access to continuing medical education is one of them. eLearning helps them overcome this challenge by providing them professional courses with a few clicks.
In this post, we’ll look at four important ways in which online medical education can aid rural doctors in their work.
1. Distance doesn’t matter.
Doctors in rural areas face several infrastructural and resource challenges. Sometimes, they have to travel long distances to see a patient who cannot come to them. Often, they are the only point of medical contact in large rural areas. They carry immense responsibility on their shoulders. It is critical that we support rural doctors in their work, as it benefits the rural populace.
eLearning gives confidence and enhanced ability to doctors, as they can remain in touch with the newest developments and procedures, even though they may be living in a remote location. They need not be robbed of continuing medical education, just because they chose to work in a rural area.
2. Makes medical education affordable.
Professional medical education often comes at exorbitant costs. Not every rural doctor might be able to pay their way through such a course. With eLearning, they can be very specific about which modules they choose to learn. They can also select from a range of courses available, so they can compare the prices and choose one that suits them best. And, because they don’t need to factor in the costs of travel and accommodation, taking an online medical course becomes much more affordable.
As they need not take time off their work for travel, they can take the course in their free time. Thus, they don’t lose out on their income potential, while they upskill themselves.
3. Benefits patients immensely.
Educating rural doctors simply means making the latest in medical science available to people from villages. There is a significant social good involved in that, apart from the direct benefits to doctors. The government of India launched online tutorials to train rural doctors in small towns and far flung areas to help early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation, and treatment of cancers.
When detected early, many diseases can be treated effectively and at a low cost. It not only improves public health, but amounts to significant savings to the government. However, rural areas often lack appropriate resources for early detection.
Here’s where the rural doctor comes in. A well-trained doctor can look for signs and symptoms and, if necessary, refer the patient to a city hospital for further diagnostic tests. Even better, when rural doctors are trained in prevention, they can advise vulnerable patients on the steps they can take to remain in good health.
Training rural doctors shifts the focus from care at hospitals to the community and empowers the community.
4. More beneficial than in-person training.
With online learning, doctors can revisit the course again and again, as and when they want to refer back to something. With in-person lectures and trainings, this is not possible. Unsurprisingly, students increasingly want to listen to podcasts of lectures in their free time rather than attend in-person lectures.
There is usually some amount of interaction in online training that is possible via chat rooms, live question and answer sessions, and even e-mail correspondences after the course. Many people open up more when they can type in their queries rather than having to speak up in class.
The high-quality animations of the organ systems in the body also make it very vivid and feels like a life-like experience, even if it’s all online. It helps in better comprehension as they can zoom in and view high-resolution images of the body parts.
Ongoing training of rural doctors is essential and beneficial for many reasons. eLearning has made it possible for doctors all around the world to gain access to high quality medical education. We see this as a trend in the medical world that is here to stay and will continue to grow stronger.
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