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The Smith & Nephew Way

A pioneer in the specialty area of Orthopedic Surgery and Reconstruction, Smith & Nephew (S&N) has long been a leader in the area of faculty development and professional education. As part of its ongoing mission to support healthcare professionals (HCPs) in their daily efforts to improve patient’s lives, exceeding expectations in the area of physician training remains priority number one for the company.

Enter, Kelly Sealey, a new breed of medical educator recently appointed to help further evolve the Orthopedic professional education curriculum. Armed with a classical teaching background, along with deep medical education and physician relationship development experience, she saw the opportunity to make a real difference. Addressing these questions required observing faculty as both educators and instructors to understand their ability to convey information that was tailored to audience needs and expectations in an engaging manner.

Style Matters

The next step was to understand where the S&N professional education team could add the most value to the training curriculum for maximum impact. “It was important for us to communicate to our faculty advisors that we are a company who is committed to investing in their long-term professional development.” Sealey said.
An extensive review of ongoing course programming uncovered three challenge areas to work on across all physician groups:

  • To ensure a consistent on-boarding process
    Individual HCPs possess varied learning and teaching behaviors. Are we addressing presentation “style” and “delivery” as well as technical content in our curriculum “Welcome Package” to ensure clinical expertise translates effectively to a specific audience?
  • To reduce the variability of podium skills
    Delivering clinical information successfully varies from person-to-person. What makes some presenters stronger than others? What are the characteristics and behaviors of a memorable presenter and how can we train our faculty to become the industry standard of teaching excellence in this area?
  • To consistently meet faculty needs ensuring successful performance
    Faculty selection must always consider the 90% baseline of technical content and substance – clinical expertise, reputation, research and case quality. However, it became clear that 10% of a presentation’s successful delivery is attributable to softer skills and personal attributes which directly correlate to interactivity, connection and information retention.

The Stars Align

Researching and vetting the right medical communications partner for a course they had never designed before was the next hurdle. “We interviewed the team at MedComms Experts and there was an instant connection. They were as eager and excited as we were to create a program with wide-reaching impact,” Kelly said. “This was a real selling point for us-they were confident, fearless and adventurous. They felt they knew the orthopedic surgeon persona well enough to build a one-of-a-kind speaker training program and that was enough for us!”

“The team at MedComms Experts are not only smart and creative, but they are incredibly genuine and uniquely flexible in their servicing style. We worked collaboratively on very short timelines to create something that neither of us had created before. That takes a lot of patience and trust and these human factors in our business can be hard to find.”

Kelly Sealey

Program Manager, Professional Education at Smith & Nephew

In partnership, the two teams designed a successful pilot training program to measure faculty and S&N senior leadership interest in the speaker development value proposition. Feedback from the pilot course was so positive that the company decided to scale the curriculum into an adjacent training program for their professional development academy, franchising the concept across 2-3 new course offerings in 2018.

Long term relationship, found.

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