Evaluating the usefulness and utility of a webinar as a platform to educate students on a UK clinical academic programme

J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2019 Dec;49(4):317-322. doi: 10.4997/JRCPE.2019.415.


Background: The Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) is the first step of the UK's national integrated clinical academic pathway; however, the application process can be unclear. We evaluated webinars as a teaching medium to enhance knowledge and confidence of prospective applicants.

Methods: Medical students were invited to attend a free webinar. The webinar was designed by a former academic foundation trainee, outlining the UK integrated clinical academic pathway and how to apply to the AFP. An online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted pre- and post-webinar.

Results: In total, 118 out of 199 (59.3% response rate) attendees filled out the pre-webinar questionnaire, while 64 out of 199 attendees (32.2% response rate) filled out the post-webinar questionnaire. Of these 83.1% had never previously attended a medical education webinar, and 92.3% agreed webinars offer flexibility and convenience, saving time and money on travel. Matched pre- and post-webinar data showed an increase in participants' knowledge (p < 0.0001) and confidence (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study has demonstrated the utility of a focused webinar in enhancing medical students' knowledge and confidence in AFP applications. Webinars are a rarely utilised yet highly acceptable way to engage millennial students and could be used to enhance engagement with clinical academia.

Keywords: Academic Foundation Programme; clinical academia; clinical academic training; medical education; webcast; webinar.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Success
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Faculty, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom