Folia Medica 63(5): 786-796, doi: 10.3897/folmed.63.e59348
Comparative analysis of awareness of medical professionals in three Balkan countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia) of continuing education of medical professionals in the area of pharmaceutical policy in the respective countries
expand article infoBranimir Brankov, Albena Zlatareva
‡ Medical University of Varna, Varna, Bulgaria
Open Access

Aim: The objectives of our study were to establish the extent to which medical professionals are willing to upgrade their skills, to find out whether they have to resort often in their daily work to the support of colleagues in matters related to pharmaceutical policy, and to find out if they attend any forms of continuing education and whether such forms are available at their workplaces. The study also aimed to establish what web-based forms of continuous education the graduated medical professionals in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia know and consider to be up-to-date and adequate to their needs for specialised training programmes which ensure that their knowledge will be adequate to the constantly evolving environment in the area of pharmaceutical policy and pharmaceutical regulation.

Materials and methods: A survey was carried out among a representative sample drawn from three Balkan countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. The survey was based on voluntary participation and relied on the ‘snowballing’ technique in order to recruit respondents and disseminate questionnaires.

Results: The results from the study demonstrate that the respondents are willing to, and are aware that they should, join forms of continuing education in the area of pharmaceutical policy since some of them encounter certain challenges related to the level of their knowledge in this domain, and that the deployment of specialised online programmes and other activities (such as workshops, conferences, etc.) for professional qualification of employees will certainly contribute to the enhancement of their qualification and to the improvement of the health services provided to citizens.

Conclusions: To keep in pace with modern trends in the area of postgraduate education, the medical universities which are most trusted by the respondents from the three countries included in survey as well as the career development services providers which offer postgraduate training courses should focus on the development and implementation of innovative forms of web-based postgraduate/upskilling education in the area of pharmaceutical policy to ensure that more potential learners can join and update their understanding of this dynamic and rapidly evolving area of scientific knowledge.

medical professionals, pharmaceutical policy, postgraduate education