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Conquering Pain FRCA: Creating a new Multimedia eLearning Platform for Junior Doctors

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Conquering Pain FRCA

Creating a new Multimedia eLearning Platform for Junior Doctors

Poster can be found at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-aj8DPxoo9qJMj3H10crKGMABVyzLwJC

 Presentation at NEW TIME!! Now at: Saturday 15 February 1700-1715

Go to: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/OU-H818/ for more details

“Studying for professional exams while meeting the demands of a busy clinical job can be challenging” Student and Foundation Doctor Network (2017). These professional examinations set by Royal Colleges must be passed by any junior doctor who wishes to become a consultant. Junior doctors frequently work nightshifts, oncalls and weekends making regional face to face teaching and examination preparation days increasingly challenging to organise and for the doctors to attend. Teresa May cited in Kuenssberg (2018) told NHS staff that there was “no magic money tree”, and this is particularly relevant for procuring study leave and funding. Funding and study leave are now very difficult to obtain for junior doctors to develop their own medical education and become better doctors.


The Final FRCA (Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists) has a significant failure rate from 25-56% in the last 3 years, Royal College of Anaesthetists (2019). Junior doctors are more likely to have failed if they have not adequately prepared including attending examination preparation courses. Noyes and Knight (2018) successfully improved examination pass rates in their region by developing a blended learning education course, but found trainees often missed the face to face days due to inadequate study leave and rota restraints. Despite the success of this course, trainees still struggled with the complex pain syllabus and components of the examination.


Conquering Pain FRCA is a new innovative eLearning multimedia platform for junior doctors preparing for their Final FRCA examinations. It is aimed at improving medical education in the field of pain medicine. Specifically, it aims to deliver highly planned educational content mapped to the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ syllabus. The platform encompasses both audio and visual content and can produce assignments, tasks and mock examinations for junior doctors. This eLearning multimedia platform is produced with no cost to the NHS. Doctors can use the platform without the need for study leave and can learn anytime and anywhere at their own pace.


The Conquering Pain FRCA multimedia eLearning platform has already had significant stakeholder involvement. This has been critical in its evolution of design, functionality and ongoing development. Platform users have been particularly informative regarding the design of the website. Key learning findings have included the requirement for the platform to be “Fun, Engaging, Memorable, [with], Graphics, Videos [and] Quizzes”.  Discussion within the focus group found that users preferred graphics that made content memorable and suggested “cartoons” rather than pictures to support this idea.  Feedback from dinosaur cartoons with painful conditions received positive feedback, including likes on Twitter. These have been said to help visualise topics that are covered. The next stages of producing video content for the platform will also be covered during the presentation, including barriers to production that have been anticipated.



Kuenssberg, L. (2018) ‘'No magic money tree'’ BBC News [Online]. Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44524605 (Accessed 06 January 2020).

Noyes, J., Knight, J. (2018) ‘Establishing a blended learning environment’ Anaesthesia, vol. 73, (Suppl. 2), pp. 36.

Royal College of Anaesthetists (2019) ‘Examination Statistics’ [Online]. Available at https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/examination-reports-statistics/examination-statistics (Accessed 06 January 2020).

Student and Foundation Doctor Network (2017) ‘How to study for professional examinations while working’ Royal College of Physicians [Online]. Available at https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/how-study-professional-examinations-while-working (Accessed 06 January 2020).

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