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Successful IME programs using adult learning principles: Part 7 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility)

Posted by Caroline Halford


Welcome back to my blog series on adult learning principles. AKA the handbook of educational design that we at Springer Healthcare IME use when constructing our programs.  

Why is educational design important?  Because we need to make sure that the teaching reaches the audience, keeps them engaged, and that learners can retain the knowledge and use it. 

You can view previous blogs from this series HERE

I would love to know what you think. Do these formats resonate with you? Would you have done anything differently with an educational program? Please send me a message at or via LinkedIn at  and I’ll get back to you.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)

Acknowledging and integrating the DEIA principles into adult learning environments is crucial for creating equitable and inclusive educational experiences. After all, there is no point in creating a superlative program if some of your audience cannot access it.

In medical education, this entails recognizing and addressing barriers to learning, such as biases in curriculum content, formats, and teaching approaches. 

By applying the DEIA principles, educators can ensure that all learners, regardless of background or identity, feel valued, supported, and empowered to succeed in their educational pursuits and future medical careers. 

Moreover, prioritizing accessibility by providing accommodations and resources for learners with disabilities ensures that everyone has equal opportunities to fully engage and participate in the learning process. 

Using this principle within Springer Healthcare IME programs

One of the ways that we incorporate DEIA into our global programs is through content delivered in a range of languages.  Such as our new program ‘Journey to a new era for Alzheimer’s disease’.*  In recognizing the global reach of this important education, we knew it was important that learners could digest the program in their native language.  Therefore, this program is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, and simplified Chinese.   

Another way to ensure accessibility of content is by incorporating on-demand, multiformat programs.  Our recent program ‘Primary care management of CKD’** (which you can read more about in my previous blog here) publishes interactive patient cases to allow learners to gain experience in talking to, diagnosing, and treating patients with CKD. The faculty videos always contain subtitles for those with hearing difficulties, or who prefer a text-based approach rather than moving image, and each case is accompanied by a downloadable infographic for use in the clinic.   

We have also utilized this multiformat approach in our new program on Alzheimer’s treatment advances, which covers all the major Alzheimer’s conferences in 2024, curating content into text ‘news nuggets’, ‘breakfast bites’ videos, audio podcasts, slide deck summaries, and microdigest infographics, along with deeper-dive expert conversations and reflective pop quizzes.

Finally, we use the same approach for podcast programs. Where possible, we publish in video and audio formats.  But also include downloadable transcripts and infographics to cater for a range of educational needs.

Many of our programs take the multiformat approach, to ensure we can reach as many learners as possible in an equitable way, in line with DEIA best practice.


*This activity is supported by an educational grant from Lilly.

**AstraZeneca has provided an educational grant towards this independent program.