2019 so far

By Dr Peter Fletcher, Academic Director

For our Parkinson’s Academy, August offers the briefest of respites as we move towards the final third of 2019. As usual our autumn term starts with our September 2 day Foundation MasterClass (MC37F on the 18th and 19th), this year with a record planned attendance of 60. The 2-day structure and the participants we are trying to reach remain the same, but the format will evolve further in 2020. Specifically we have increasingly structured the Foundation MC as a broad base for clinicians who will subspecialise in non-Pd areas but also as a true Foundation for the service developments those attending the Advanced MC will be designing.

The first module of our Advanced MC (MC36A) was delivered June 18th to 20th. We have modestly increased numbers to 30 as frankly the demand really is there. Knowledge and understanding remain key but for application we are focussing more and more on service development.

Many of these considerations underpinned our desire to reconvene a Faculty away-day (May 22nd and biennial) to reconsider what to include in our MCs and how to deliver it. More details will follow for 2020 but what we have learned from the MS MCs is just how important the between-modules projects are in a world where service delivery has had to change rapidly. There will no longer be a needs analysis as we have nearly 17 years of data and yes there has been evolution but the precise weighting of what participants want and can do is pretty stable. Essentially the up-front work in the Advanced MCs will pass to the participants in terms of preparatory work specifically with a view to service development. Hence we will see further curriculum separation between the Foundation MC and the Advanced MC. This reflects needs and wants but also our observation that the percentage of participants on the Advanced MC coming to us from the Foundation MC is growing. Change will happen in 2020 so do feel free to add your thoughts to that process.

Somewhat more one-off was Cutting Edge Science for Parkinson’s Clinicians, held in Birmingham June 25th and 26th. It was in fact the second time we have delivered this meeting but each meeting is one-off as unlike our MCs this meeting can only be planned year on year. To observe that we used novel multimedia techniques to deliver it is to put it mildly (see parkinsonsacademy.co). Cutting Edge Science for Parkinson’s Clinicians represents a fabulously successful collaboration between pharmaceutical company Bial (yes, as in opicapone) and the Parkinson’s Academy. We are in discussions and hope to have news soon regarding a 3rd incarnation of this meeting so do keep logging on to parkinsonsacademy.co and indeed reading Moving On.

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'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 20 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.