Free open access medical education resource knowledge and utilisation amongst emergency medicine trainees: a survey in four countries

Thurtle, Natalie, Banks, Colin, Cox, Megan, Pain, Tilley, and Furyk, Jeremy (2016) Free open access medical education resource knowledge and utilisation amongst emergency medicine trainees: a survey in four countries. African Journal Of Emergency Medicine, 6 (1). pp. 12-17.

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Introduction: Free Open Access Medical Education encompasses a broad array of free online resources and discussion fora. The aim of this paper was to describe whether Emergency Medicine trainees in different contexts know about Free Open Access Medical Education, whether or not they know about its different platforms, which ones they use, and what the major barriers to regular usage are.

Methods: A convenience sample was surveyed on awareness and use of Free Open Access Medical Education blogs, podcasts, websites and Twitter at three institutions (in Australia, Botswana and Papua New Guinea) and one deanery (United Kingdom) between June 2013 and June 2014 using an online survey tool or via hand-distributed survey.

Results: 44 trainees responded: four from Botswana, seven from Papua New Guinea, ten from the United Kingdom and 23 from Australia. 82% were aware of blogs, 80% of websites, 75% of podcasts and 61% of Twitter as resources in Emergency Medicine. Awareness and use of specific resources were lower in Botswana and Papua New Guinea. For blogs, podcasts and websites, trainees who had looked at a resource at least once were neutral or agreed that it was relevant. For Twitter, some trainees found it difficult to navigate or not relevant. Lack of awareness of resources rather than lack of internet access was the main barrier to use.

Conclusion: The Emergency Medicine trainees in both developed and low resource settings studied were aware that Free Open Access Medical Education resources exist, but trainees in lower income settings were generally less aware of specific resources. Lack of internet and device access was not a barrier to use in this group.

Item ID: 43996
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2211-419X
Keywords: education; self-directed learning; open access
Additional Information:

© 2015 African Federation for Emergency Medicine. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 07:30
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320207 Emergency medicine @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 50%
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