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Enjoy COLA…Education Begins Here

Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics
Kansas City, MO

Program Description
Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics/University of Missouri-Kansas City Allergy and Immunology
Fellowship Program is a two-year program which provides cross-training in both pediatric and adult allergy and immunology. Our faculty is comprised of seven board-certified allergist-immunologists and one PhD researcher who are involved in fellowship education. Besides a diverse patient population, the fellows have opportunities to work in clinical research, basic-science research, clinical pharmacology and environmental assessments.

Type of Program
Allergy and Immunology

Number of Fellows in Program

Abstract Authors 
T Federly, S Argo, N Raje, PJ Dowling, J Portnoy

Submitter(s) of Abstract
Tara Federly, MD

In the age of computers, tablets, smartphones, internet and intranet, it is imperative for medical education to keep up with the times. Our Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics/University of Missouri – Kansas City is doing just that. In 2008 Conferences Online Allergy (COLA) was established by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology as a venue for allergists to share information via online conferences. However, for our fellowship program COLA has developed into an interactive didactic curriculum which reaches far beyond the doors of our conference room.

The education of our fellows has always been a priority at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics/University of Missouri – Kansas City. Our fellowship program observes two hours of protected time every Monday and Friday morning for didactic lectures. These lectures are broadcast live on GoToMeeting, an online video and audio conferencing tool. GoToMeeting allows presenters to lecture from our conference room or off-site from their computer to an audience which includes our conference room attendees as well as other attendees logged on from around the country and the world. Attendees can log on for free at www.childrensmercy.org/cola from their Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone or Android. This feature allows fellows to attend lectures while on off-site rotations, on vacation or on personal/maternity leave. Other attendees, including our attendings, past fellows, residents, medical students, fellows from other fellowship programs as well as any interested individuals, can all interact via microphone or keyboard throughout the lecture.

In addition to live viewing, many conferences are recorded and posted to YouTube and iTunes for later viewing. Our fellows use these online venues to watch lectures they have missed or review a previously seen lecture of special interest. COLA currently has 152 videos posted on YouTube. Videos can be accessed by searching YouTube or from our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/acaaicola. Since early October, COLA YouTube videos have had 24,780 views, with 4416 views in the last 30 days. Popular videos include flow cytometry, eosinophilic esophagitis, B-cell activation, Churg-Stauss syndrome and alphagal food allergy which have over 1,000 views each. Over 250,000 iTunes videos have been downloaded since January 1, 2012. Popular downloads include billing and coding, angioedema/urticaria and bronchoprovocation with 9000-10,000 downloads each. This year selected COLA conferences have also become available for free CME credit.

The content and quality of our lectures are also top of the line. The first two months of each academic year begins with an orientation series. The series features interactive lectures presented by experts in the field from across the country on specific allergy, immunology, pulmonology and dermatology topics. This provides fellows with a foundation of current and up-to-date knowledge to begin their training. The remainder of the year includes core curriculum topics, journal club, patient management and an in-depth immunology lecture series. Conferences Online Allergy has provided our fellows with a comprehensive, up-to-date and easily accessible educational tool, which likely represents the future of medical education. Since implementing this curriculum our fellow’s pass rate for the allergy and immunology specialty board examination has been one hundred percent. We believe this program has provided our fellows with an educational opportunity that ensures academic and clinical success. Our current fellows will continue to access COLA beyond fellowship training and, who knows, maybe someday one of them will be presenting on COLA from across the country or the world to the fellows of the future.


Last Reviewed: July 2016