Skin disease accounts for almost 30% of consultations for General Practitioners (GPs) and yet most receive very little training in dermatology. With this in mind Dr Vicky Jolliffe designed the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology to teach GPs the key elements of dermatology to enable them to provide optimum care for patients with skin disease.
Impact of work
As a former GP she understands their learning needs and was able to tailor the curriculum accordingly. They started with humble beginnings, posting packages to a few UK GPs. Within four years she was delivering the programme online globally. There are now over 120 students in 25 countries, widening access to learning to groups who may previously have been disadvantaged by flexible study needs, disability or geographical location.
The real fun, and challenge, was in designing a blended e-learning programme which needed to be flexible, accessible and appropriate for postgraduate learners already in busy medical jobs. How did Vicky meet this need? She created online soundbite videos which students could watch after surgery or whilst cooking dinner. These comprised both patient and consultant interviews. Alongside these she developed audio tracks supporting the curriculum text. Students could listen whilst driving to visit patients, enabling them to study whilst working.
Feedback from students has been very positive and as a result she has created similar videos for several national dermatology meetings facilitating global distribution of their educational content.
Plans for the future
To combat potential isolation of distance-learning and to enhance student support, she blended e-learning with in-person clinical Teaching Days involving dermatology patients and webinar clinical teaching, both of which are very popular. She subsequently created new webinar teaching for the British Medical Journal Group which continues to expand.
Student satisfaction is high and she has published work on positive sustained learning outcomes following the programme and validating the teaching tools as being appropriate to learners needs. Many of her students go on to work in an extended role. Vicky is particularly proud of mentoring a number of cross-disciplinary colleagues (in-person and via international speaking) in setting up other distance-learning programmes and of being awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Reader in Postgraduate Medical Education and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist
Queen Mary University of London