I have just been prompted to have a look at the excellent eLearning Pain Module for the RACP. In short it is a fantastic resource that I encourage anyone with access to have a look at here. As I understand it access to this resource is limited to fellows and trainees of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and its administrators so my apologies to anyone not fitting that description reading this blog, as the following may come across as a bit of a tease. (Ed Correction: We have just been informed that anyone can apply for access through the site linked above – i.e. Read on, it is not a tease at all)
The module was informed by the palliative medicine advanced training curriculum and designed to provide palliative medicine trainees with necessary skills and knowledge to be able to continue to develop their learning in this area. The module wisely noted that there is not universal consistency in clinical practice across palliative medicine nor in training opportunities in this important area and so this module attempts to make sure that every trainee gets the same learning opportunities. The module provides interactive training based on vignettes in a variety of clinical settings including the community, the tertiary hospital and in the palliative care unit in three long cases, and also provides short cases to flesh out specific clinical areas of complexity like analgesia in renal failure, the management of tenesmus, and pain assessment in the profoundly disabled child. Despite the length of some of the cases (the long cases take several hours to complete) the module is structured to allow work in smaller 15 minutes blocks without losing progress. Special mention should be made of the authors inviting experts to provide commentary on how they would manage the cases within the module. For me this allowed the trainee (or interested consultant) to see how this related to everyday practice in our region, and helps prevent the module from becoming just a book-learning exercise.
Personally I must congratulate the authors: Anil Tandon, Peter Eastman, Helen Lord, Vicki Tai, Sharon Ryan, Simon Allan, Melanie Lovell and our own Elissa Campbell (we are all very proud of her, here at Palliverse) for their great work on this resource. The only issue I have with the module at all is that it has apparently been available for a whole year and I have only just come in contact with it. Admittedly, that is probably at least somewhat my fault rather than the fault of the authors or the college, however I would suggest that any and all trainees and specialists spread the word so that anyone who would like to benefit from this excellent resource gets the opportunity.