Rebooting nuclear medicine specialist education under the COVID-19 pandemic: From plenary lectures to active e-learning

Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2024 Feb 27. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12875. Online ahead of print.


Despite major reforms of specialist training in the Nordic countries towards concrete learning outcomes and promoting active learning, most specialist courses continue to be based on lectures. We redesigned our mandatory 5-day course in clinical nuclear medicine (NM) that was last held in 2016 towards active learning. Thirty 1-h lectures were replaced with 10 thematic blocks of 3 h each. Each block was taught by a single teacher in a blend of short introductory lectures alternating with small groups of residents reading NM cases from our newly established national case library in diagnostic format. Due to COVID-19, the entire course in 2021 needed to be run on a videoconferencing system rather than in a computer laboratory as had been originally planned. At the end of the course, we conducted the same anonymized survey as in 2016. All 19 course participants responded. 74% fully agreed that the e-course format had been 'good'. One hundred per cent fully agreed that the practical exercises were 'useful' versus 50% in 2016 (p < 0.001). In their free text answers on the merits or downsides of e-learning, 12/12 respondents only mentioned advantages. Our newly established library of anonymized teaching cases within our national health network is an effective tool for organising courses based on active learning. Despite the change towards distance learning enforced by the pandemic, course participants reported the same high levels of satisfaction with active learning in small groups as in the earlier traditional lecture-based course format.

Keywords: COVID-19; CT; PET; SPECT; e-learning; education.