FLEX: Flipping the Curve

September 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 8

Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator for Education

Forgetting Curve, Hermann Ebbinghaus, 1885.

This month marks the official launch of AAO-HNSF’s new flagship education program, FLEX (Focused Lifelong Education Xperience). We welcome learners for what promises to be educational, interactive, engaging, challenging, and—most important of all—directly applicable to practice.

One of the foundational elements of FLEX is to offer a new curriculum centered on the principles of microlearning. Many of us are familiar with the exponential nature of forgetting. As you see from this diagram featuring the “Forgetting Curve,” which originated in 1885 by Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist, we forget 80% of what we learned in 30 days.

We gratefully acknowledge Richard V. Smith, MD, past Coordinator for Education, FLEX Workgroup Chairs, and more than 130 Foundation experts who have contributed to the successes of this inaugural year.

Education Steering Committee
Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, Chair

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Education Committee
Scott B. Roofe, MD, Chair

General Otolaryngology and Sleep Medicine Education Committee
Jeffrey Stanley, MD, Chair

Head and Neck Surgery Education Committee
David M. Cognetti, MD, Chair

Laryngology & Bronchoesophagology Education Committee
Thomas L. Carroll, MD, Chair
Paul C. Bryson, MD, Chair-elect

Otology & Neurotology Education Committee
Marc L. Bennett, MD, Chair

Pediatric Otolaryngology Education Committee
Meredith Merz Lind, MD, Chair

Practice Management Education Committee
Lance Manning, MD, Chair

Rhinology & Allergy Education Committee
Stacey T. Gray, MD, Chair

For a complete list, visit www.entnet.org/FLEXFaculty.

Content developed as microlearning—short, focused learning bites—provides learners improved engagement, retention of concepts, and transfer to practice. With eight topics released throughout the year, FLEX will create a sustainable learning experience, thereby flipping the “Forgetting Curve” to a “Retention Curve.”

Each FLEX topic will be presented in a variety of creative and contemporary learning modalities. FLEX is based on the fundamental learning philosophy that the needs and preferences for otolaryngology education will continue to evolve over time. The tools provided in the FLEX subscription will also evolve to ensure they remain timely and relevant for all learners.

Here is what’s in store for learners participating in this new virtual classroom:

  • A FLEX-ible experience – Log in to your classroom any time, on any device. The virtual classroom allows learners to engage in self-paced learning and live events offering peer engagement and time for Q&A.
  • Learn at your own pace – Participate each month as the specialty topic is released, or catch up when it’s convenient for you. With a subscription to FLEX, learners will receive the entire eight-module set of topics as they are released.
  • Choose your own adventure – Whether that be at home, commuting, exercising, or in between cases, you know best how to integrate learning into your routine.
  • Every day is a school day – This curriculum is a great way to maintain lifelong learning and continuing certification by earning up to 100+ CME/MOC credits annually.
  • Best-in-class faculty – More than 130 Foundation education faculty have developed this curriculum to help you meet the challenges of your otolaryngology practice and build mastery throughout your career.