Irisa Devine, MD
Providence Alaska Medical Center
Principles of Child Neurology in Infancy is an online interactive course by Mac Keith Press that provides an overview of pediatric neurological diseases, suggestions for how to work effectively with families, the basics regarding developmental milestones, the use of evidence-based medicine in pediatric neurology, and general testing and treatment for pediatric neurological disorders. The course targets medical professionals, but medical students, advanced practitioners, general practitioners, and perhaps those early on in their pediatric neurology training will particularly benefit. The course is likely too general and basic for seasoned pediatric neurologists and does not delve into specific pediatric neurologic conditions in detail. A related textbook is Principles and Practice of Child Neurology in Infancy, 2nd edition (2021) by Mac Keith Press. I am not personally familiar with the authors, but they hold academic positions throughout Europe.
The course is electronic, which is beneficial because users can search for specific topics and easily navigate the content. When signing up for the course, users create a login and password for access to the site. The course is divided into “Topics,” which are essentially chapters. Each topic has several sections including references and is followed by a self-assessment that consists of multiple-choice questions. Once submitted, users receive immediate feedback about correct and incorrect answers and can re-take the self-assessment quizzes if they do not pass on the first attempt. Throughout the Topics sections, there are also opportunities to answer fill-in-the-blank questions.
The course has its own search engine, which is adequate. The course does not interact with other resources. The best features are the search function and easy navigation from one section to the next.
The course itself is primarily text with some tables and figures but no videos. Incorporating videos and more pictures would be helpful to demonstrate some of the topics as well as keep users’ interest. The major strength of the course is that it provides a good overview of pediatric neurological topics. The major weakness is that it doesn’t delve into the specifics regarding various diseases. I was also expecting there to be more information on developmental milestones and developmental testing. While a lot of the course can be applied to clinical practice, it seemed that the majority of the topics and the manner in which it is written would be most useful for board or other examinations as opposed to being useful to clinical practice on a daily basis.
Individuals can gain 12 months of access to the course by creating an account on the website and paying a £150 fee, though there appears to be a discount for European Paediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) members. There is an option to renew access at the end of the 12-month period, but the cost is not clear. Users may also register for a 48-hour free trial if interested in previewing the course before purchase. I did not investigate how to obtain group access or the associated costs.
This course would be best suited for medical schools or advanced practitioner schools. Pediatric and pediatric neurology residencies may benefit from the program as well. Users are able to claim up to 10 EACCME credits, which can be converted to AMA Category 1 credits.
Overall, the course was easy to navigate but could have incorporated more visuals including pictures and videos.