Physicians are among the most intellectually curious people on the planet. Unfortunately, the immense burdens placed on their shoulders make it very difficult for them to pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake, and to engage with learning as an enjoyable endeavor.
ALOE seeks to change this.
Let's review how ALOE improves physicians' competence, autonomy, and relatedness when they learn.
Anyone who is able to complete pre-medical course work, four years of medical school, residency, and, in some cases, fellowship, is an advanced learner. It may not be impossible, but it would certainly be difficult to complete this intense training while disliking the learning process. In general, physicians enjoy learning.
That said, physicians are also strategic. They know that medicine is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field, and they need to prioritize learning topics that will keep them competent and successful. The problem is that it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on all of the relevant journals, conferences, and agency announcements.
ALOE's platform offers two solutions to this problem. The first involves central command, and the second offers a democratized solution.
Let's use two examples to illustrate this further:
Dr. Reyes is her department's associate chair for quality assurance. It is her job to make sure that everyone practicing in her department is aware of and trained in evidence-based medicine so that standard of care is always met. To ensure that everyone in her department has direct access to this important information, Dr. Reyes uses the Updates function on her department's ALOE site to post critical information any time a new research finding, clinical standard, practice bulletin, or policy is put into practice. She alone controls the content on this page.
Dr. Bhatia is an infectious disease specialist practicing in an academic medicine center internal medicine department. Dr. Bhatia loves to track "bugs" that are impacting his medical center's patient population, and to offer his expert opinion on these pathogens to his colleagues. That's why he uses the forum function on his department's ALOE site. Every time there is a news article, study, or change in epidemiological trends related to one of these pathogens, he shares it via a post on the forum, with the hashtag: #BhatiasBugs. He loves it when his colleagues like his posts and leave questions for him in the comments section. Only the members of his department have access to the forum, and they never share patient identifiers.
In addition to keeping apprised of the latest breakthroughs, physicians also need to have control over the learning they pursue, including which topics they explore, and when, where, and how they access information on those topics.
ALOE puts physician learning back in the hands of physicians.
Let's use an example to illustrate how:
Dr. Hyatt makes it a point to precept in her department's resident clinic at least a few times a year. She loves to teach and interact with the residents. She also enjoys the challenge; the residents' patients tend to have different complaints from those she sees in her own practice, and she often finds herself trying to refresh her memory on those topics in the weeks leading up to her precepting session. To help her accomplish this goal, she uses her department's ALOE ChatBot to guide her through self-learning modules on topics that frequently arise in their resident clinic. She can either type in a topic that she'd like to review, such as "PrEP for HIV", or she can ask ChatBot for a list of self-learning modules available, and pick from the list. The self-learning modules allow Dr. Hyatt to go at her own pace, are case-based, engaging, and provide resources if she wants to do more independent study. The modules are written and reviewed by her expert colleagues, so she always knows they are of great quality.
Learning can be a very enjoyable and satisfying social activity. This is certainly true for physicians who increasingly report feeling isolated from their colleagues. ALOE platforms offer a few mechanisms to help physicians feel connected to one another when learning.
Consider this example:
Dr. Carver believes that it is important to constantly learn, and to show his students that learning is a life-long activity. For that reason, Dr. Carver loves to pull his department's ALOE ChatBot up at the conclusion of his inpatient rounds and go through one self-learning module with his whole team. He loves that he is learning alongside his trainees. He also finds that he can augment their learning experience by sharing his own unique knowledge, and he loves to invite his fellows, residents, and trainees to answer ChatBot's questions and teach him new information as well.
In addition, Dr. Carver uses his department's ALOE forum to post information about interesting upcoming conferences related to his field. He loves to share educational opportunities for his colleagues, and has learned about additional conferences from his colleagues as well. Sometimes, he is able to coordinate a group of his colleagues who are interested in attending the same conference.