The Division of Rural Hospital Medicine and Uni. Otago are considering setting up a postgraduate society and we are keen to get feedback on the idea.
Why do we need a rural postgraduate society?
The Division and the University have been running CME targeted at the educational needs of rural clinicians (and delivered by rural clinicians who understand those needs). Some of these, such as the RiSC courses and the annual CME workshop, have a fee associated with them, but as many as possible are free and open to everyone. This includes the articles on Leaning on Fence Posts, the webinars and the podcasts. These have proven very popular. Leaning on Fence Posts get up to 100 visits per week and average webinar attendance is around 60 people. We need to find other ways of resourcing these activities if we and to ensure sustainability and see them grow.
Some of us have good access to CME funds but there is big variation in our ability to pay for CME. A postgraduate society could be a way of those with CME allowances (who maybe are having second thoughts about European cardiology conferences) to use some of it to support home grown open access CME for ourselves and the whole rural health professionals community.
How would a rural postgraduate society work?
Membership would be entirely voluntary. It would be a non profit making society governed by its members and would support the current CME activities and grow new ones. Members would likely be offered a discount course fees but the majority of the funds would be used for open access CME.