The aim of the project is to develop a model for lifelong learning across vascular surgery in the EU by involving practitioners from 4 countries in creating new protocol, new training and training tools and experience them in a multicultural challenging project-based context, in their working context and outreaching to colleagues into daily interaction. In the end we will develop a group of "surgical change agents" ready to promote lifelong learning as an essential skill to any surgeon.
Most doctors are aware of the aphorism that learning should continue from the cradle to the grave. However, medical school does not prepare anyone fully for the responsibilities, long hours, and challenging tasks that qualification brings. The fittest survive by learning from their practice, whereas those who do not continue to learn become dissatisfied and burn out. Current restrictions in working hours, changes in the organisation of health care, shorter hospital stays, and the breakdown of the medical firm make it ever more necessary to learn efficiently from practice.
Numerous editorials and descriptive articles have stated the importance of lifelong learning, but research has not yet provided a definitive answer to the question “How can trainees develop lifelong learning strategies?” We have drawn on medical education theory and empirical studies of both facilitating practice change and the effectiveness of feedback for best evidence on effective lifelong learning. Those sources show that one size does not fit all.
This is the exact context of our project proposal. In our BTK-VD project we will have an absolutely innovative idea of bringing together the professional training of surgeons in specific techniques, and the lifelong learning training of these professionals in instrumenting them on-line training, international cooperation, working in a common foreign language, exchange of experience and preparation for being mobile in Europe. At this point in Europe there are tow way to address the below the knee peripheral vascular disease: in open surgery and by endovascular approach. They are techniques needing different knowledges and skills, soliciting different approaches and providing different positive and negative impacts. In our partnership, in Romanian and in Turkey the open surgery is the approach most used, while in the Netherlands and Germany it is endovascular approach. In our project we will develop a curricula with training materials, a learning platform and we will have short staff trainings to develop a new surgical protocol, bringing new techniques to staff not used in implementing them.
The shift in the method used, from open to endovascular, will trigger a shift in the workplace, new tools, new protocols, new language of specialty. So surgeons need to be prepared in updating their general skills, they lifelong learning skills, embedded in them since university, but not much put in practice. Higher education has invested in defining the role of generic skills in developing effective, adaptable graduates fit for a changing workplace. Research confirms that the development of generic skills that underpin effectiveness and adaptability in graduates is highly context-dependent and is shaped by the discipline within which these skills are conceptualised, valued and taught. This places the responsibility for generic skills enhancement clearly within the remit of global medical education.
Lifelong learning is a concept taken up by governments and educational institutions worldwide to acknowledge the need for continuous learning irrespective of the profession. In the context of medicine, lifelong learning has always been formally considered an ethical obligation of doctors although the term Continuing Medical Education (CME) is more commonly used than Continuous Professional Development (CPD). BTK-VD project will highlight exactly the need of this focus, not just medical knowledges to be updated, but the professional approach of lifelong learning.
The project intends to create a curriculum based for BTK vascular disease to alternative medicine in Europe and to create completely updated teaching materials in this area. Therefore, the relevant professional groups in sector should know better to put in the indication for revascularisation, and to optimize the treatment for this kind of patients. We aim to update and improve instructors knowledge and improve related professional groups. n this context, this project will solve a major deficiency.
Beyond the contribution for medical staff learning this project will also have a potential for the regional economy because the medical staff will learn to treat patients otherwise without surgical resolution of the problem, patients who usually undergo major limb amputations fact that will have a huge impact on the economy.