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What is ACUMEN?

ACUMEN is an e-learning project being developed by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians in collaboration with HEE e-Learning for Healthcare. It aims to facilitate knowledge acquisition and application of that knowledge in scenario settings for trainees in medicine from core medical training (CMT) and acute care common stem (ACCS) through to more senior trainees in acute internal medicine and general internal medicine.


Why is the project important?

This initiative recognised that the constraint in training hours associated with the full implementation of the European Working Time Directive requires novel solutions to supplement the learning that can be acquired as part of day-to-day practice. The emphasis placed on the acquisition of the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes as defined in the core medical curricula means that it will especially affect trainees in the early part of training, but more senior trainees in acute medicine and general medicine will also gain much benefit from undertaking the ACUMEN scenarios and knowledge sessions. ACUMEN is designed to expose trainees to clinical scenarios that mimic acute presentation of symptom-based problems.


What does it cover?

The curricula define 65 major forms of presentation to acute medical units. These include four emergency presentations (unconscious patient, shocked patient cardio-respiratory arrest and anaphylaxis). After this, the curricula list the twenty most common symptom based presentations such as breathlessness and chest pain. The next 40 presentations are defined by symptoms that are less common but not uncommon within an acute medical unit. The ACUMEN project takes each of these presentations and presents them as interactive clinical scenarios where the trainee is able to follow the patient from the initial presentation, where a history may be taken and a virtual examination performed, through the development of an investigation and management plan through to the conclusion and review of the patient outcomes. The trainee may then compare their performance with that of the ‘expert’.


Who writes the content?

The content is entirely written by practicing clinicians from around the UK. Each clinician works with an instructional designer to ensure that rigorous clinical content is presented in a way that is both highly interactive and consistent with accepted educational theory.


Is the content peer-reviewed?

All content is reviewed by an expert editorial team of acute physicians to ensure that it is relevant, accurate and consistent with accepted best practice in the UK.


How much content is available?

ACUMEN currently has over200 learning sessions available covering all four Emergency Presentations, all the Top Twenty-One Presentations as well as a range of Other Important Presentations. New content is currently being added on a regular basis, and the production of new content will continue in line with available funding.


How do I access ACUMEN?

You may be automatically registered for ACUMEN through an organisation such as JRCPTB or you may register for access. Once your details have been validated you will be issued with a username and password granting you access to ACUMEN from any Internet connected computer.


For more information on ACUMEN please contact



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