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Continuous Education for medical professionals: Why microlearning makes sense now and in the future!

The problem with time

Ger­man doc­tors have rough­ly 7–10 minu­tes for their pati­ents. Lack of time is a cen­tral pro­blem in the Ger­man health­ca­re sys­tem, whe­ther in the hos­pi­tal or in the prac­ti­ce. In order to suc­cess­ful­ly tre­at a dise­a­se, it is necessa­ry to know the rea­son for it. Collec­ting and inter­pre­ting the necessa­ry infor­ma­ti­on often takes time.

Fur­ther­mo­re, con­ti­nuous trai­ning and fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on is ele­men­ta­ry for medi­cal pro­fes­sio­nals. It ser­ves to main­tain and con­ti­nuous­ly deve­lop pro­fes­sio­nal com­pe­tence. At the same time, high-qua­li­ty in pati­ent tre­at­ment and medi­cal care should be gua­ran­te­ed. Lifel­ong lear­ning and the need for con­ti­nuous fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on are wide­ly estab­lis­hed in modern medi­ci­ne. But in the best case, con­ti­nuing edu­ca­ti­on should hap­pen brain- and time friend­ly. As fur­ther trai­ning also requi­res time, the gol­den rule is: kee­ping edu­ca­ti­on short, smart and simple.

Time for microlearning

The con­cept of micro­lear­ning fits in with our fast-paced world and con­ti­nuous chan­ge. On the one hand, becau­se micro con­tents are small lear­ning units that pro­vi­de ans­wers at any given point of the day, or in other words every now and then. They enab­le new know­ledge to be acqui­red fast and skills to be expan­ded wide­ly. On the other hand, the­se small units can also be desi­gned in com­bi­na­ti­on with other forms of lear­ning such as online and face-to-face semi­nars. In order to suit the needs of the lear­ners and encou­ra­ge spen­ding more time learning.

The­se lear­ning ses­si­ons enab­le ongo­ing, effi­ci­ent know­ledge and skills deve­lo­p­ment. Ima­gi­ne a lar­ge com­pe­tence cube, which con­sists of many small cubes of know­ledge, I can always reas­sem­ble the small cubes to match. Spea­king from edu­ca­tio­nal rese­arch, peop­le learn best over a lon­ger peri­od of time if they retrie­ve and app­ly know­ledge over and over again, ins­tead of only atten­ding a semi­nar once a year.


The Aca­de­my for Kli­nik­ma­nage­ment uses micro­lear­ning as part of an online cour­se for cli­ni­ci­ans. In struc­tu­red lear­ning modu­les, sin­gle units of a maxi­mum of 15 minu­tes are pla­ced in such a way that they can be inser­ted into every break or on-call duty. Thus enab­ling the necessa­ry fle­xi­bi­li­ty. You can find out more about this in this video exp­lai­ning micro­lear­ning (in German).

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