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PH pioneered first virtual medical education on surgical skills training

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By Alithea De Jesus

The country’s 1st Online Learning Continuum on Basic Surgical Skills Training was recently launched under the auspices of, Johnson & Johnson Philippines (J&J) and in collaboration with the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS -NCR) and the Philippine Society of General Surgeons (PSGS Metro Manila and Central Luzon Chapters).

This initiative reaffirms Johnson & Johnson Philippines (J&J) commitment to empower healthcare professionals through continuing medical education such as this.

Interestingly, the pioneer program is the first of its kind in both the Philippines and Southeast Asia, the Johnson & Johnson Institute’s Surgical Skills Training program was designed to provide continued learning for first to third-year PSGS residents in a convenient and innovative online digital format. 

Facilitated by illustriousn proctors and surgeons, the online learning sessions are built on the latest developments and breakthroughs in the field.  Through a curriculum designed to develop proficiency in basic surgical skills, learning sessions are delivered through blended learning that covers modular and evidence-based sessions and ‘virtual hands-on training’.  

The Institute’s Surgical Skills Training pilot began in October and will run until December 2021 and will be deployed to a total of 87 training hospitals within NCR and Central Luzon. Participants will earn certificates upon program completion. 

“As a healthcare ally, we at Johnson & Johnson have pledged to support the continued medical education of our medical professionals and are happy to finally launch the first Surgical Skills Training in the country and in Southeast Asia for PSGS residents in collaboration with our partners at POGS NCR and PSGS MMC and Central Luzon.  As the Surgical Skills Training program that we launched this quarter continues to evolve, we will continue to collaborate with our partners to co-develop relevant content for every stage of surgical skills training and education,” explains Dr. Erwin Benedicto, Head of Medical Affairs of J&J Philippines.

“This pandemic has required us to adjust operations according to safety and physical distancing protocols, causing a lot of elective cases to be put on hold and disruptions to our surgical residents’ training. With this program, we are hoping to bring back up to speed our trainees’ skills development and help them in delivering the highest quality of healthcare, and ensuring the best patient outcomes“ said Dr. Alfred Q. Lasala II, President of PSGS Metro Manila Chapter.

Dr. Raymund Noel Mallari, President, PSGS Central Luzon Chapter shared that the roll-out of this program comes at an opportune time for the society, as it will allow for them to open their doors to non-emergency case patients again and go back to providing those with elective cases preventive treatments. 

Likewise, Dr. Rosalie Junio, Regional Director, POGS NCR said that the introduction of this online platform will be of great value to their members and residents, as it will allow for them to further their training, despite the limitations presented by the community quarantine. 

Since 2017, the J&J Institute has provided comprehensive professional training that helps enable healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes in today’s value-based care environment.  Through 24 training centers in 23 cities on 5 continents, the Institute has provided training to over 125,000 healthcare professionals across the globe through on-site training, online courses and strategic educational partnerships.

In the Philippines, the J&J Institute has supported over 70 training institutions in the education of over 6,000 healthcare professionals in various medical fields to include colorectal, head and neck, gastric, thoracic, cardiovascular, liver, gynecology, and tissue management. 

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