Earlier this year, I heard about people enrolling in a diploma in child health. All it required was 6 months of clinical paediatrics contact, some online lectures, 2 case reports and 2 exams. Best thing of all: almost all of it can be done online (except of course the exams).
Of course, having heard about this information earlier this year, I was too lazy to look further into it. I’ll look it up later I kept telling myself. Of course, weeks would go by when I completely forget to look it up, and when I’m reminded about it either through work or a colleague, I put it off again.
It wasn’t only until a few days ago when I attended a paediatric emergency workshop. Following that workshop, I realized that my paediatrics knowledge wasn’t exactly the best and up to date. So after a day of looking up the actual diploma website, I decided to join. Well, actually, I looked all over the website, but could not find out how much it cost. So curious, I enrolled, and it was only after I got provisional enrolment that I got a cost back : $AUD 3000. Not too bad I guess, given the flexibility of the program, and the 111 lectures and materials I’d get access to as well.
Having gone through 3 lectures already, I already feel smarter with things like managing DKA, and meningitis in children. I think the money will be well worth it, and it would be a great investment into my professional development.
Which brings me to another fairly important point as well: professional development. In a way, it is the responsibilty, and duty of a practicing doctor to keep up to date with information. Those who fail to do so get left behind providing outdated and inefficient care to patients. Education is definitely essential to maintaining high quality of care, and even consultants shouldn’t be exempt from continuing to learn.
All fair and all, but the major gripe I have with Australia’s method of continuing education, is that costs need to be paid out of our own pockets (of course of which we can get tax deductions). And really, medical education does not come cheap. Workshops can cost thousands of dollars. In a way, I did wish that Australia was a bit like New Zealand in that the cost of education if you are in a training program is paid by the employer.
But I suppose, different countries have different systems, and you can’t have it all.