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Introducing a global e-learning initiative for diabetes and endocrinology

Sze May Ng
An introduction to the new, free ISPAD–ESPE e-Learning portal for paediatric diabetes and endocrinology.

In this editorial, I am delighted to introduce to you the joint International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) initiative, ESPE e-Learning. This freely accessible global e-learning web portal is the gateway to an interactive learning environment. It provides information on up-to-date topics in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes. The objective of this free e-learning resource is to improve the education and training of healthcare professionals, and to eventually improve the quality, safety and health of people with diabetes and endocrine conditions globally.

ISPAD–ESPE e-learning activity is overseen by the E-Learning Committee for ESPE, see Box 1, and ISPAD’s E-learning Editorial Board, who are responsible for the progress and quality of all e-learning content on the portal. The professionals who serve on these boards contribute their time and skills on a voluntary basis. I have been the UK E-Learning Committee member since 2016 and the UK member on the ISPAD E-learning Board since 2018.

Portal content
Content on the e-portal is split into 11 categories, see Box 2, and includes contributions from 318 specialists worldwide. All content is peer reviewed. There are 78 chapters and over 120 case studies describing physiology, pathophysiology and practical approaches to the management and treatment of endocrine disorders. The case studies have been integrated so students may consider solutions to the diagnostic and management concerns in a step-wise and interactive manner. The paediatric diabetes category contains 24 chapters and 24 cases based on the ISPAD guidelines. This category has been contributed and edited by the ISPAD Editorial Board.

The section on Health Care Level Based Courses is intended for healthcare workers in resource-limited countries or low- and middle-income countries. It contains 16 chapters and 24 problem-solving cases. The content has been translated into five languages (English, French, Spanish, Swahili and Chinese).

Using the portal
There are at present around 30,000 qualified and student practitioners from 135 countries using the ESPE e-Learning platform. With the exponential growth in health information, time-limited clinicians and students require customised education that is tailored to their needs.

Medical students, fellows, specialists, nurses and tutors from around the world can use the ISPAD–ESPE portal to share, contribute and develop knowledge through the use of interactive chapters and case-based-learning that covers core and advanced level learning modules on:

  • Normal development
  • Pathophysiological mechanisms
  • Current views on diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

The portal, see Figure 1, has the potential to cater to the varying training needs associated with different career stages. As a global initiative, ESPE, ISPAD and their partners encourage healthcare professionals and teaching staff to advocate and implement use of the ISPAD–ESPE e-learning portal within their practice and teaching programmes.

Those who are interested in contributing to new chapters or providing case studies to accompany the modules for paediatric endocrinology and diabetes are invited to contact ISPAD–ESPE is grateful to the more than 200 authors who have contributed to the educational resources to date.

To register, fill out the registration form and choose a user name and password. Once done, go to your inbox, open the automated email and click on the link it contains to activate your account.

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