Education FLEX

December 2019/January 2020 – Vol. 38, No. 11

Why should one replace the most successful education product of the last 40 years that still has more than 2,600 subscribers and generates substantial revenue for the Foundation? That and a number of other questions were at the heart of the critical “Future of Education” task force investigation and report recently released by Richard V. Smith, MD, past Coordinator for Education and Chair of the task force. Extensive research, including multiple user interviews, study of the evolution of education theory, review of technology advances, and the advancement of content needs, all contributed to the many recommendations that composed this landmark report, which will set our education agenda for the next five to 10 years. The Foundation goal to provide the education materials that members want, when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it, is well served by FLEX, the Foundation’s “Flexible Lifelong Education Xperience” that will replace the Home Study Course.

James C. Denneny III, MD, AAO-HNS/F EVP/CEO

Our flagship FLEX education program will incorporate a variety of education topics in each issue presented using multiple state-of-the-art formats designed to cover emerging subject matter in a more contemporaneous fashion than previously possible. It will be the professional support you need to help you meet the challenges of your otolaryngology practice and allow you to achieve mastery of the specialty throughout your career. There are a number of upgrades that FLEX offers when compared to the Home Study Course, including the addition of more than 200 courses residing in AcademyU®. There will be eight sections per year that will offer 13 hours of CME per section. Our first section will be released September 1, 2020, and will be priced less than the Home Study Course for both residents and practicing physicians.

“The Foundation goal to provide the education materials that members want, when they want it, how they want it, and where they want it, is well served by FLEX.”

The Home Study Course has consisted of carefully selected journal articles covering a specialty area every quarter. The new FLEX program will allow you to “hear it,” “see it,” “analyze it,” “join it,” “play it,” “talk about it,” “share it,” and “take your time” by incorporating additional tools, such as simulation and gamification in shorter, more concise bites. Each section will include materials from multiple specialty areas of otolaryngology presented in a variety of formats that will be accessible across the spectrum of devices commonly used today. FLEX will only be available in the online format so we can take advantage of the multiprong education strategy made possible by advances in technology.

I would like to personally thank the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery for donating its extensive library consisting of 72 Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs) this past summer to the Foundation, enabling these valuable learning tools to be shared through our AcademyU platform with our members. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the SAMs faculty members for the exceptional work they put forth in developing these courses and their willingness to continue to share their expertise with the Foundation to make these products available to otolaryngologists for lifelong learning.

One of the top Foundation education initiatives is to rebuild these courses and make them available for CME/Continuing Certification credit in AcademyU. To accomplish this and rebuild these modules, we successfully identified a CME reviewer for each course during our Education Committee meetings at the AAO-HNSF 2019 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in New Orleans. As these modules are completed, they will be available through the new FLEX program described above (see graphic below).

I would like to recognize Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, our Coordinator for Education and the Foundation staff for operationalizing the ambitious program set forth by the “Future of Education” task force.