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Successful IME programs using adult learning principles: Part 6 (Need to know – what’s in it for me?)

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.

Need to know: what’s in it for Me?

Springer Nature have conducted many surveys to explore the challenges faced by today’s healthcare community. In the vast majority of therapeutic areas, physicians’ most vital education needs are: 

(1) Clinical trial information; 

(2) Research, including real-world and health economic data; and 

(3) Treatment advances.

However, their greatest barrier to staying up to date is lack of time. More than 50% of oncologists find it somewhat or very difficult to stay informed about these topics. As much as this is a scary statistic, it’s very relatable. I think most of us have felt overwhelmed with data from time to time.

A great educational program curates the latest and greatest developments for these busy clinicians, and provides the “So what?” factor. Why is this data important? How will it help you to improve your patient care?

This is why our conference coverage programs are often key to satisfying our learners.

Using this principle within Springer Healthcare IME programs

For example: In November 2023, we delivered a program curating the latest news on primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) from the Liver Meeting 2023.* PBC is a chronic, cholestatic, autoimmune disease, which frequently leads to cirrhosis and liver failure. The 2023 congress presented ground-breaking data from new trials in the second-line setting. Each of our articles focused on a single trial, or an expert opinion on the data, with formats in text and video (to suit different learner preferences).

For busy clinicians working with liver conditions, this program cut through the noise to deliver what experts needed to know, days after data release.

Another great example is our new program on Alzheimer’s treatment advances.** We are covering all the major Alzheimer’s conferences this year, 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. It’s one of our diverse-format programs and we’re so proud to be delivering education to physicians in formats that suit their needs.

In rarer conditions, where data releases are slower, and in disparate sources, we may decide to deliver a longer-term news feed to summarize peer-reviewed literature as it is released. This was the case for our award-winning program “FOP: Recognition, treatment, and hope’.* This allowed us to monitor the literature, and summarize each study within days of publication. From patient-reported outcomes, to clinical trials, surveys, or epidemiology studies. 

In summary, for busy clinicians where time is limited, but the need to stay abreast of data is key, these formats provide shortcuts to learning without them having to search through every conference or medical journal.


*These programs were made possible thanks to independent educational grants from Ipsen.

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