In 2007, before our educational publications started, continuing medical education in Bulgaria consisted of under-financed programs organized by medical universities and promotional industry-sponsored events. No institution or industry representative offered any well-structured nation-wide solutions.
Our approach was different. First, we asked physicians what education would best help their work. A vast majority of the hundreds of physicians we work with said that they were overwhelmed by biased marketing information, but they lack information with substance and applicability.
The resounding response we got was the dire need for scientific guidelines translated into Bulgarian and adapted into the form of applicable practical advice, rules and algorithms.
As part of our scientifically oriented marketing strategy, we stopped delivering lectures about medicines – any medicines, including ours, and turned all our activities towards the needs of our partners and clients. The Bulgarian hospitals, physicians, medical centers, and patients responded with their appreciation and loyalty.
To bridge the gap we created a separate in-house financial and organizational structure for continuing medical education. The project was widely supported by the company’s advisory boards and targeted various medical specialists – cardiologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pulmonologists and general practitioners. The scientific program and agenda were set so as to cover a maximum number of regions and specialties and to achieve synergy.
Jan. 15, 2007 – May 30, 2007
7244 delegates from more than 150 cities
The lectures covered topics from hypertension to heart failure, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, asthma and COPD, diabetes management and control, bipolar disorder management and depression management.
Sept. 19, 2008 – Dec. 12, 2008
4272 delegates from more than 150 cities
It was the first time in the CME process when international speakers participated in regional symposia. By now it has become a tradition.
The lectures that stirred the liveliest debate were those on healthcare reform, reimbursement and health insurance policy. Renowned specialists from the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy presented new algorithms for treatment of acute coronary syndrome – the advantages, pre-hospital management, organization and most importantly, timing.
As a result of these meetings new ways of primary and secondary transfer of ACS patients were adopted in each region in Bulgaria.
Sept. 11, 2009 – Dec. 18, 2009
5216 delegates from more than 150 cities
Lecturers from Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and France took part in the scientific program. They discussed the results achieved by the Bulgarian Cardiac Institute and Tchaikapharma in the one year since the previous symposium as well as new strategies for improvement. In some regions they accounted for a 30% drop in the in-hospital ACS mortality.
The strategies discussed included direct transfer of ACS patients to centers performing 24/7 life-saving procedures. There were discussions concerning the current conservative treatment and ways to enhance guideline compliance and reduce costs. International experts presented charts comparing the data in their countries to the data in Bulgaria. They also made suggestions on how to reduce this gap, among which was the suggestion train Bulgarian physicians.