PURPOSE: The Essential Bronchoscopist© (EB©) is a web-based, laddered curriculum of bronchoscopy-related knowledge. It is freely accessible in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Japanese) and will soon be available in more languages. It is comprised of six modules, each with approximately 30 interactive question-answer sets and a module-specific learning objective and post-test. It covers many of the issues in the major categories available in traditional bronchoscopy textbooks. Its aim is not to replace but to complement conventional training in bronchoscopy. The purpose of this observational study was to record the impact of using the EB© to train small groups of physicians in underserved hospitals in two underdeveloped countries.
METHODS: The EB© was administered using internet access and an interactive CD version to small groups of physicians (n=12) at Nouβdhibou Regional Hospital in Mauritania and Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique. Training was conducted by one of the authors (SQ) in French (Mauritania) and Spanish and Portuguese (Mozambique). All participants completed all 6 modules of the EB©, passing the post-tests. Subsequently they completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding content, usefulness, and possible learning advantages.
RESULTS: All participants found the EB© useful, and expressed interest in continued usage. A majority (10/12) stated that the material was not readily available in textbooks, and the same ratio (10/12) found the material relevant to their daily practice. Most (9/12) preferred an internet or interactive CD version to a print-out, and the same ratio (9/12) found the material clear and not confusing. A 10/12 majority preferred using the EB© in a group conducted by an instructor.
CONCLUSION: Most participants found the EB© a useful tool in learning bronchoscopic knowledge that was relevant to their clinical practice.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: In an age when the divide between the rich and poor nations and the resultant inequality in healthcare delivery is more striking than ever, the availability of free web-based curricula is an efficient method of providing healthcare knowledge to third-world nations and is an important step in the democratization of science.
DISCLOSURE: Mohsen Davoudi, None.