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Smaller Portions for Better Digestion: New Online Course Series Aims to Give Clinicians Just the Info they Need, When they Need It

Aug 04, 2021

Bite-sized bits of information, presented by experts with plenty of accompanying graphics and videos: This new series of educational courses developed by ASCO, titled “ASCO Expert Answers,” reflects the Society’s continuous enhancement of its educational offerings to make sure they’re getting members the right information, in the right format, and presenting it in the most effective way possible.

These new 10–15-minute courses are designed for practicing medical oncologists, who can earn continuing medical education (CME) credits for completing them. Each course is focused on a particular topic within a disease area. An expert discusses the patient case, key decision points, and factors guiding the treatment decisions, explaining their thought process on why a particular treatment was selected over another and the patient and disease factors that influenced their decision.

On Demand Content Developed for Busy Practitioners

ASCO’s tagline, “Knowledge Conquers Cancer,” comes to life with this new series. The courses, which launched in August, were designed to fit today’s learning preferences with their shorter duration, increased use of multimedia, and greater emphasis on what’s new in a given topic area and the ideas and actions that will impact patient care. The result is a more streamlined educational experience that hones in on the most important concepts and takeaways.

“For each course, we’re taking a smaller concept, bringing the expert opinion to the patient case, focusing on a specific issue—one that may be controversial—and trying to help people figure out how to incorporate some of the newest information, data, and clinical trials into their practice,” explained ASCO Education Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Dr. Marie Wood. “A modern oncology workforce is really overworked and sometimes wants information that is less a comprehensive covering of a subject and more a clinical query,” she added. “To better meet the needs of ASCO members, we’ve designed point-of-care learning that’ is concise, multidisciplinary, and really digestible so professionals can find something that helps them with a specific patient and a specific clinical question.”

As of publication time, there were eight courses planned in this new ASCO Expert Answers series with more to come in 2022. Six of the courses are tied to research presented at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting (AM) in which expert faculty explain, through patient cases, how the research data or new regimen affects the current standard of care or fits in the overall treatment landscape. The first two courses are being offered free of charge for their lifetime, which is approximately one year. The courses in the series are:

“We’ve really tried to make these new course offerings more appealing to the broad membership and something that ASCO members would want,” said Dr. Wood.

Staying Up to Date With the Latest Information

The ASCO Expert Answers is just one of several new products that ASCO Education has developed this year.

In June, following the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, ASCO Education debuted a series of “post-plenary sessions,” designed to go in-depth on some of the most-discussed abstracts from the meeting. The format is virtual, with each session hosted by a discussant and featuring the abstract lead or a co-author explaining the research. There is a live question-and-answer session, and the session is available on demand for later viewing. The goal is to help disseminate the latest science and findings presented at the meeting to a wider audience and delve into the impact on physicians and patients. These follow-up sessions also are being planned for ASCO symposia in the fall and winter.

Other products from ASCO Education include:

  • ASCO-SEP®: A comprehensive resource designed to help providers assess their levels of knowledge in the full range of cancer disease areas, ASCO’s Self-Evaluation Program (SEP) provides lessons in cancer, its treatment, and supportive care. Content is updated twice a year, and the resource includes a self-assessment generator—Quiz Builder—that helps learners assess their medical oncology knowledge and address identified gaps. New questions are added on a regular basis and include patient case information, educational links, and rationales for each answer.
  • Education Podcasts: Typically 20 minutes in length and in varying discussion formats, the podcasts are focused on a wide range of both clinical and practice-related topics, including telemedicine, COVID-related issues in practice, and burnout and resiliency.
  • Tumor Boards: Multidisciplinary case-based discussions led by recognized experts in the topic area, the tumor boards have been updated to resemble a live tumor board more closely but in a virtual, on demand format. These discussions, available for free and offering CME credit, feature medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, pathologists, and others from relevant specialty areas.

View all of the ASCO Education products.

“With our ASCO Education products, we are really trying to appeal to all clinicians—whether young or old, academic or community-based, international or in the U.S.—who often don’t have as much time to do as much learning as they’d like,” Dr. Wood emphasized. “We want to make sure that everyone has an easy-to-use and reliable place to go to get all the great knowledge from the conferences and courses that ASCO has to offer—we want to be a great resource for our members.”

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