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Perioperative Medicine in Action

Explore perioperative medicine and how you can improve care for the high risk surgical patient. Join this RCoA endorsed course.

40,018 enrolled on this course

Perioperative Medicine in Action

40,018 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Make a difference: Improve patient outcomes with perioperative medicine

Too many patients die or suffer prolonged complications following surgery.

Perioperative medicine is an emerging, multi-disciplinary approach which seeks to optimise the care of high-risk surgical patients. It encompasses disciplines such as anaesthetics, surgery, nursing, elderly care, physiotherapy and healthcare management.

In this RCoA-endorsed course, developed by anaesthetists at University College London (UCL) Hospitals, you’ll learn the key concepts you need to improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs.

Spanish translation available / traducción al español disponible.

Download video: standard or HD


  • Week 1

    The Surgical Epidemic

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Perioperative Medicine in Action. To start the course share your views on perioperative medicine and read the story of Mary's surgical experience.

    • Traditional models of care

      Explore the traditional models of care used in the surgical pathway and consider the advantages and disadvantages of this.

    • The need for change

      Read about an important UK report on deficiencies in the care of the surgical patient, along with the recommendations for change. Explore the findings of the ISOS study and hear from its chief investigator.

    • Perioperative medicine as a concept

      Hear about the Royal College of Anaesthetist's vision for perioperative medicine, read about successful models of perioperative care and hear from a patient's husband about their experience of integrated care.

  • Week 2

    Decision Making and Risk Assessment

    • Introduction

      Being a patient can be an overwhelming experience. Many fear a loss of control. Once you have heard about the week's learning aims from the course educators, start your learning by reflecting on your experiences as a patient.

    • Patients at the centre of their decisions

      Discover the foundations of shared decision-making and the key report supporting its widespread adoption. Hear our expert faculty discussing and then demonstrating shared decision-making.

    • Risk assessment

      Explore the tools available to accurately risk assess patients to assist with informed consent and care planning. Learn to use online tools and practise risk assessment on some real life scenarios.

    • Outcome Measures

      Explore the commonly used outcome measures used to assess performance. Learn about the UK quality improvement project 'PQIP'.

  • Week 3

    Protocolised Care Pathways

    • Introduction

      In modern medicine, it feels like there are protocols everywhere. Take some time to hear from the course educators about the learning aims for week 3 and then discuss how you believe protocols fit in with perioperative medicine.

    • Elective care protocols

      Hear from the founder of the enhanced recovery protocol and learn about its key elements.

    • Engaging with protocols

      Discuss the difficulties in delivering enhanced recovery and discover innovative schemes to help both patients and staff engage with enhanced recovery.

    • Emergency care protocols

      Explore the needs of patients undergoing emergency surgery. Read two key reports advocating protocolised care for emergency surgery and discover quality improvement projects being done in these areas to improve care.

  • Week 4

    An Age Old Problem

    • Introduction

      After hearing from the course educators about the learning aims for this final week of the course, take part in a discussion on the challenges you face when caring for complex elderly patients.

    • The unique health care problems of the elderly

      Learn about the unique medical problems of the elderly - frailty, multimorbidity, perioperative cognitive disorders - via articles, patients experience videos and case studies.

    • Improving perioperative care for the elderly

      Read the reccommendations from a national enquiry into perioperative care for the elderly patient and hear from the founder of the POPS service at Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital.

    • The current economic climate

      Hear about the current economic strain on the NHS and how through integrated perioperative medicine some of that burden can be lifted.

    • COVID-19

      In this new activity we explore the challenges of offering surgical treatments now that COVID-19 has become endemic.

    • Final thoughts

      Recap the learning aims for your four weeks with the course team and your peers. We end the course by considering the future of perioperative medicine with our expert faculty.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Justify the need for better, more holistic care for the high risk surgical patient, to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Engage with risk assessment tools to characterise and quantify the risk of an individual undergoing a particular procedure.
  • Demonstrate the need for protocolised care pathways and evaluate the success of the enhanced recovery programmes in reducing variance in practice.
  • Describe the major challenges in delivering perioperative medicine for the elderly.
  • Discuss the current economic pressure on healthcare systems and how perioperative medicine can be used to reduce these pressures.

Who is the course for?

This RCoA endorsed course is aimed at all interested healthcare professionals, both medical and allied health professionals. This would include anaesthetists, surgeons, care-of-the-elderly physicians, pre-assessment nurses, surgical ward nurses, operating department staff, physiotherapists and medical managers, emphasising that enhanced care and improved outcomes depend on a multidisciplinary approach.

Healthcare professionals might find the the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or commitment to their career.

Although some of the statistics and guidelines are UK specific, the key concepts and learning aims are relevant at an international level.

This run of the course will include Spanish translation of course materials / el curso ofrecerá traducción al español.

What do people say about this course?

"A good course, thank you. It has consolidated a lot of my learning from the past few years in a manageable way! Very thought-provoking. As the clinical lead for preop where I work, I will take a lot of this learning back with me. Some things we have already started but it is easier to get overwhelmed with it all. This course has allowed me to order my thoughts and consider what my priorities need to be over the next few years."

"I really enjoyed the course. The videos, discussions, articles, interaction with other 'students'...Well thought out course material. Thank you to the Team at UCL and RCOA for a sterling job. Thought-provoking and at times helps you realise that you are not alone in the 'struggles' to improve care in the peri-op period. "

Who will you learn with?

Abigail is a consultant in anaesthesia at University College Hospital, London and an honorary associate professor at UCL. Her main specialist interests are perioperative medicine and medical education

Katie is an Anaesthetic Consultant in the UK

Twitter: @katie_samuel_

Who developed the course?

UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

The Royal College of Anaesthetists logo

endorsed by

World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists logo

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Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 23 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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