ACUMEN, the free, interactive e-learning resource for trainees in acute and general medicine, is now available to use.

The resource, which has been developed by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians in collaboration with DH e-Learning for Healthcare, enables trainees to develop key skills in line with the acute medicine curriculum.

With the introduction of the European Working Time Directive in August 2009, ensuring trainees receive adequate training within the restricted hours has become a significant challenge. Greater emphasis has been placed on time-efficient resources like ACUMEN. Trainees have the unique opportunity to develop and practise their skills through use of interactive clinical scenario sessions featuring lifelike cases.

These scenario sessions provide trainees with experience of patient presentations, which supplements the experience gained in the workplace and supports more effective delivery of the acute medicine curriculum.

Around 50 e-learning sessions are now available through ACUMEN. They cover the following presentations within the acute medicine curriculum: blackout/collapse, breathlessness, chest pain, cough, falls, fever, hypothermia, immobility, medical problems in pregnancy, micturition, speech disturbance, syncope/pre-syncope and unsteadiness.

ACUMEN takes each of these presentations and shows them as interactive clinical scenarios. Trainees will make differential diagnoses and develop management plans to tackle the cases. The outcomes of the cases depend on the actions of trainees and they can compare their performance with that of an ‘expert’.

Knowledge-based sessions which explain the learning points encountered within the scenarios are also available. The sessions are easy to use and take around 20–30 minutes to complete.

ACUMEN is freely available to trainees in acute and general medicine and can be accessed online at any time.

For more information and details of how to register visit

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