Seminars for physicians: "Physicians are obligated to continue their education for the safety of their patients"

Interview with Eva Ningel, Managing Director for beta seminare bonn berlin GmbH (bsbb)

Continuing education is an integral part of the medical profession, because research continuously delivers new findings that sooner or later make their way into patient treatments. How does an event need to be organized to provide the highest level of benefit for the participants and what criteria are used to choose the instructors?


Photo: Smiling woman with long dark hair; Copyright: B. Frommann

Eva Ningel; ©B. Frommann spoke with Eva Ningel, Managing Director for beta seminare bonn berlin GmbH (bsbb).

Miss Ningel, before you can plan continuing education events in more detail, you need to know the topic. Based on what criteria are the topics chosen and what suggestions do you get?

Eva Ningel: On the one hand, physicians provide valuable suggestions on exciting medical topics or make inquiries on whether a specific topic would be interesting or whether a continuing education course has perhaps already been scheduled on the subject. On the other hand, we develop our own ideas, for instance while we review technical literature and current magazines. There are also subjects that are picked up based on increased media exposure like the popular topic of “Hospital Hygiene“ over the past few years. Then we consider which speakers would be suited for this and design a potential program by communicating with experts from the special field.

How do you verify whether a speaker is qualified?

Ningel: To be able to ensure the speaker’s quality, we like to collaborate with renowned and professional experts from their respective fields, who are able to judge which of their colleagues should not be missing in our choice of instructors. It is important that they are impartial people from the health care sector, who enjoy lecturing and are able to give the audience an intimate understanding of the subject.

Does the industry participate in such events?

Ningel: To some extent. Oftentimes companies from the industry sector support an event on a topic that is closely associated with them to present their products at a booth during the presentation. Sometimes lectures by companies are also permitted, but they are subject to strict guidelines. It cannot be a lecture on a specific medical device for advertising purposes. We ask to see the lectures in advance, so we can ensure compliance with guidelines! However, we also handle events that are exclusively funded by admission fees.
Photo: Speaker at a podium in front of an audience; Copyright: Benis Arapovic

Physicians are obligated to participate in regular continuing education to find out about new therapy options and to ensure suitable treatment for their patients; © Benis Arapovic

What topics are currently particularly interesting?

Ningel: We have supported events on hernia surgery for many years now. We are not just addressing heads of departments or established surgeons with these courses, but also young resident physicians and are thus making an important contribution to the continuing education of German physicians in this area. This program doesn't just include live surgeries and lectures by international hernia specialists, but also practical exercises and observations in anatomical institutes and hospital facilities.

In addition, we have events that give a new perspective on well-known aspects. Recently we had an event on urology that focused on men in terms of medical diagnosis and treatment. Participants as well as speakers and industry representatives met this topic with a lot of enthusiasm. Generally, health congresses and events are meant to be about new developments and new treatment options that are meant to bring physicians up to date on the latest research. The event also creates a platform for the mutual exchange between participants, lecturers and industry representatives. Thanks to the point system of the Medical Association, physicians are obligated to continue their education for the safety of their patients. After program completion, we submit an application with the Medical Association to have the course certified. After reviewing the program, the Medical Association determines how many continuing medical education credits a physicians may receive for his/her participation. This is another aspect that determines the quality a continuing education course has and whether it makes sense for physicians to participate in this event.
Photo: Simone Ernst; Copyright: B. Frommann

© B. Frommann

The interview was conducted by Simone Ernst and translated by Elena O'Meara.