The British Medical Journal (BMJ) Publishing Group has launched a new broadband learning service for junior foundation doctors and their clinical tutors.

The BMJ Learning Foundation Programme is the first service aimed at helping foundation level 1 and 2 junior doctors with meeting the curriculum requirements of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Department of Health syllabus.

Foundation doctors undertake a two-year general training programme which forms the bridge between medical school and specialist/general practice training.

Dr Kieran Walsh, clinical editor of BMJ learning said: “Junior doctors not only need the most current evidence-based data which the BMJ Group can supply but also need to be guided in communication and relationship building.”

The programme will address seven key areas: good clinical care, maintaining good medical practice, relationships with patients and communications, working with colleagues, teaching and training, professional behaviour and probity and acute care.

“We believe we have struck the right balance between medical knowledge and communication skills in the modules,” Dr Walsh added.

The learning programme enhances learning by using multimedia learning modules. Trainees can watch simulation modules and diagnosis modules to further engage with their studies, as well as practice filling out forms and gaining advice on how to deal with seriously ill or difficult patients.

One hospital which encourages use of the website is the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, after the BMJ visited the hospital to see their existing simulation training methods.

Clinical director of medical simulation, Dr Kevin Haire told EHI: “The video simulation modules realistically represent the difficulties doctors face when they need to make a diagnosis and institute treatment in an acute situation.”

Dr Haire said that e-learning provides an added boost to practical and observational work the foundation doctors do in their training scheme, which will help them when they eventually qualify.

“Learning in a structured, comprehensive manner with the aid and support of tutors can help junior doctors feel more confident in their training. Here at Chelsea and Westminster, we have made it mandatory and our foundation doctors have given us very positive feedback on the programme.”

The service is available through the BMJ learning website and is free for doctors and clinicians to use, once registered. So far, almost 1400 people have enrolled, since it was made available in August.

Dr Alex Bowers, a junior doctor who uses the service said: “I found the initial multimedia modules interesting, informative and enjoyable. The interactive style and videos make the concepts so much easier to remember.”

Dr Haire agrees that the service is a good learning tool and hopes that more foundation doctors make use of this e-learning resource.

“I strongly advise new junior doctors to enrol as soon as they can on the Foundation Programme site to help them settle into the learning process while working.”