Osler is the latest CPD home operator to compete with the colleges, offering a yearly subscription for $249 with a three-month free trial thrown in for good measure.
As of last Monday, Osler has become one of only two third-party providers to be accredited and operational as a continuing professional development home available to all doctors.
As a result of recent changes to CPD requirements made by the Medical Board, third-party organisations are allowed to provide CPD training by becoming an accredited CPD home, ending the medical colleges’ monopoly.
However, few have had the courage to take on the powerful colleges, which have all been automatically given AMC accreditation as CPD homes.
Currently, only one other CPD home provider has been accredited for all doctors; AMA WA’s DoctorPortal.
Skin Cancer College Australia and HETI are now also accredited, but their services are limited to GPs with a special interest in skin cancer and NSW-based junior medical officers respectively.
According to Osler’s co-founder and CMO Dr Todd Fraser, the accreditation process is rightfully grueling.
“It’s a good thing for consumers that it is such a robust process, because they can have confidence that anyone who is offering superior services has met a pretty high standard,” said Dr Fraser.
To become an AMC accredited CPD home, providers must offer a record-keeping system and coordination of a monitored CPD program.
But how does Osler plan to set its CPD home apart from the colleges and other third-party providers?
To sweeten the deal, they’re also offering a free three-month obligation-free trial period, Dr Fraser told The Medical Republic.
Currently, the CPD home with the closest price point is ACRRM’s, offering a $300 subscription for the first year, but only if you registered by last August.
DoctorPortal Learning, the only other third-party offering, is currently $440 a year for members, while non-members will pay $880.
Dr Fraser told TMR that the increase in competition should be good for healthcare professionals, pushing providers to offer the best user experience at affordable prices.
“A lot of institutional-focused platforms that people experience in healthcare are not designed for the user, they’re designed for the institution,” he said.
“We on the other hand, are an individual-focused platform … so we invest in user experience and the user interface.”
According to Dr Fraser, Osler already has a host of tools in its kit that are perfectly suited for its role as a CPD home, including logbooks and journaling tools with built in automation to track completed hours.
Dr Fraser said he understands that doctors have many competing priorities, meaning that they’ll be looking for a platform that is competitive both in its efficiency and in price point.
Osler also hopes to set itself apart through its background in education.
“Osler has been around for nine years now, in a variety of guises,” said Dr Fraser.
The aforementioned guises include a suite of education and accreditation service provisions to medical schools and hospitals.
“We’ve really come at this from an education perspective, that’s in our DNA,” he added.
“Rather than taking the view that we were going to build a tool that would help people meet an accreditation standard – and therefore it’s more an administrative tool – we’ve taken the view that we were ideally positioned to help people go through the CPD process and get genuine value for it educationally.”
Osler’s CPD home will offer education in the form of podcasts, articles, journal reviews, quizzes — “you name it” — via both app and web-based platforms.
Osler plans to continue to build relationships with third parties to curate up-to-date, good quality content.
“Users can be reassured that we’ve cherry-picked the really good quality stuff.
“It’s a bit like the comparison between Netflix and YouTube: YouTube is a free-for-all and it’s very difficult to tell what’s good and what’s not good.
“Whereas Netflix, even if you don’t happen to like it, it’s going to be a professional standard.”
According to a release published by the Medical Board, all doctors will need to denote their CPD home when they complete their medical registration for 2024.
Dr Fraser said Osler’s main market will be the more than 20,000 prevocational doctors between PGY3 and PGY6 and career medical officers, who will be new to CPD.
He is confident that there remains a number of doctors not yet wedded to a CPD home.
“I don’t think that there’s anything remotely like a saturated market yet. I would say at best 10% of that market has made a decision already.”