Society for Endocrinology - a world-leading authority on hormones


Issue 145 Autumn 2022

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2022 > Society News


INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING

LAURA UDAKIS | Society News



Education and training have always been, and will always continue to be, a big focus for the Society. Each of the Society’s Clinical, Nurse and Science Committees has education and training embedded in its remit, to ensure all our member groups have access to the training and professional development they need, either directly from the Society or from elsewhere.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, training needs and expectations have changed.’

The Society’s recent governance review concluded that it would be beneficial for the Committees to be more joined up around education and training. In this way, the Society’s portfolio of events, tools and resources can be strategically developed, by identifying common challenges, gaps and opportunities.

EVOLVING EXPECTATIONS

As we emerge from the pandemic, training needs and expectations have changed. An increase in virtual clinical service models means that training must also evolve, and people expect to be able to do more training online, but still want face-to-face networking opportunities. Secondly, the Society, like most organisations, is having to work ‘smarter and harder’ within the resources that we have. We need to examine everything we are doing, making sure that we are offering the best value to our members, and meeting as many of those members’ needs as possible. This, in itself, is a challenge, since the Society represents such a wide spectrum of professionals at different career stages.

In this context, it is more important than ever to strategically develop our education and training offering. A cross-Committee group met during the summer to start to do exactly that. The group started by discussing the training challenges that currently face our members.

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TRAINING CHALLENGES

Time and funding for training are challenges for scientists, clinicians and nurses alike. This pressure on resources has only increased since the onset of the pandemic. For clinicians, finding the balance between specialty training and service provision for general medicine is difficult. There are also large regional differences in training provision across the UK. For researchers, support and training at mid-career level are often lacking, for instance tailored management and leadership training or funding for visits and sabbaticals.

Endocrine nurses throughout the UK are very, very diverse in terms of the areas in which they work, the patients that they see and the medical teams that they work alongside. Some nurses work almost in isolation, away from the major centres. Nurses may move from other roles into endocrinology, with no formal training, and so would really benefit from practical work-based experience and rapid engagement with a support network of experienced nurses and clinicians.

POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS

The group discussed some potential developments that can be made to our current portfolio of events and training. These might include making National Clinical Cases a hybrid event to extend its reach, expanding the capacity and content of Clinical Update and Endocrine Nurse Update, and redeveloping our Career Development Workshop for new consultants and mid-career scientists. Moving some of the lecture content online could free up in-person time to focus on small group discussion or practical training.

Over the last two years, the Society has built up a considerable bank of recorded webinars and conference sessions, hosted on its website. It is clearly important to improve their visibility, search functionality and categorisation, so that these resources are more accessible to the members who would most benefit from them.

Collaborating with other societies is often an effective way to offer more to our members. The Society has already trialled different ways of working on joint events with the Royal Society of Medicine and the Biochemical Society. Exploring different ways of working with other partners, including the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists and Diabetes UK, and those within industry, is likely to offer more training opportunities to our members without the Society ‘reinventing the wheel’.

We have already found new online solutions to some training challenges. For example, gathering small groups of early career nurses together online, to allow them to network and ask questions of a more senior nurse who ‘hosts’ the session, has been a really successful way to facilitate networking and informal training for very little cost. This programme of ‘virtual coffee chats’ is soon to be expanded to scientists and clinicians.

If you have further ideas for how the Society could better meet the training needs of its members, please do get in touch with me.

Laura Udakis
Director of Membership Engagement




This Issue:

Autumn 2022

Autumn 2022