Publicity for MAM e-learning project - 28/7/2009

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Busy doctors go online to pursue their studies
Cynthia Busuttil

Doctors are known to work crazy hours and, as much as they would like to continue with their education, attending lectures is at times difficult.

The internet is however changing all this, allowing busy medics to continue with their studies whenever they have a few moments to spare.

An internet portal manned by the Medical Association of Malta is trying to provide doctors with information at the click of a button by posting lectures delivered at Mater Dei Hospital by various experts online.

And a recent addition, a lecture on swine influenza by British pandemic expert Nigel Lightfoot, has proven quite a hit, seeing the number of doctors registered on the online system double to some 300.

Dr Lightfoot, who was recently in Malta, is the chief adviser on emergency preparedness and head of the pandemic influenza programme at the UK's Health Promotion Agency. He is an authority when it comes to pandemic preparedness.

The president of the doctors' union, Martin Balzan said about 90 lectures had already been posted online over the past year, providing information on breast cancer, rheumatology, diabetes and different respiratory problems. Some 60-odd lectures were in the process of being uploaded.

"The programme is aimed at doctors in training and their tutors who can access the information at any time, even if they were unable to attend a lecture," Dr Balzan said.

He explained that the programme, called Moodle, kept track of what lectures the trainees were following and he described it as a supplement to the more conventional forms of training.

The four-year 150,000 project is mainly funded by the European Social Fund.

Martin Balzan

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