Interview with the scientific organization EFIM which has created its own online educational platform, the EFIM Academy

Faced with the global changes in health systems, the EFIM decided to support the professional development of its members by creating an educational programme, the EFIM Academy. Aneta Trajkovska explains to us the objective and the way it is organized to disseminate and improve the knowledge and practices of professionals in the sector.

First of all, could you present the EFIM?

The European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM) is a scientific organization established in 1996 through a merger of its predecessor AEMI and the Forum of Presidents of National Internal Medicine Societies in Europe. The Federation was formed to bring together the National Societies of Internal Medicine of different countries across Europe and has extended its boundaries thereafter. Currently, EFIM is composed of 37 National Societies representing 35 countries and 50,000 internists.

The European Federation of Internal Medicine aims to re-emphasize the importance of Internal Medicine in patient care, in a world of increasing specialization. In addition, EFIM aims to support the professional development of trainees and internists in Europe to face the realms of global change in healthcare systems.

What initiated the creation of the Academy?

The EFIM Academy was developed in response to trainees needs for a one stop educational platform that would allow the user to access educational content in many formats, in many different languages, thus making it accessible to many. 

The content is designed not only to convey theoretical knowledge but also to improve clinical reasoning skills and practical skills such as ultrasound. The expected audience includes Internal Medicine trainees and specialists and all healthcare professionals dealing with emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions as well as preventive and palliative care.

The EFIM Academy will be officially launched during the upcoming European congress of Internal Medicine, ECIM 2022 in Malaga, Spain from 10 – 12 March.

How did you set it up?

The EFIM Academy is a joint venture with Delta Medical Communication, a company based in London that provides creative and scientific support to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. 

The Academy has an editorial and an advisory board, comprised of members of the EFIM. The content is created by leading medical experts from all over the World. This is to ensure the content is up to date and evidence based. The EFIM Editorial Board is responsible for planning and carefully reviewing all module content for accuracy ensuring that only unbiased & fit-for-purpose information is delivered via the EFIM Academy. Language editors are responsible for proper translation of the content into selected languages. The Academy consists of formally structured e-learning modules, presentations, pre-recorded session videos, podcasts and live-webinars along with the related documents in various formats. The EFIM Academy also has knowledge testing and community feedback capability.  The content of EFIM Academy is non-promotional and independent and is in the process of being accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME). 

What tips would you give to organizations that are hesitant about setting up their Academy or educational programme?

The success of the project relies on research carried out in advance into the needs and wishes of users in order to propose appropriate content. It is also important from the beginning to identify the objective of the programme and to deliver content that is different to that already available in order to provide a unique offering. Another key factor for success is providing the necessary resources to create a dedicated team, whilst keeping in mind that the project will always take more time to set up than expected. Asking for help and advice from those who have already undertaken a similar project is also a good idea.

Once the educational programme has been set up online, it is always necessary to ensure that the content is checked by experts before being published. Go for it!