Developing content for professional education products

An interview with Jason Pointe, Publications Director, International Anesthesia Research Society

Maverick is speaking with publishing executives who have developed professional education products from their existing content. Jason Pointe, Publications Director for the International Anesthesia Research Society spoke with Maverick’s Jayne Marks about their approach to content development for the society’s wide range of learning products.

Can you tell us a little about IARS?

The International Anesthesia Research Society sits within a landscape of professional organizations supporting anesthesia and pain management. It is not the trade body for anesthesiologists in the USA, but rather aims to support the profession globally and tends to appeal to mid- and later-career professionals. This impacts how we deliver ongoing professional development for our members with a focus more on improving learning rather than just meeting accreditation requirements. That is not to say that we don’t offer a full complement of products and services for early career professionals and those looking for MOCA (Maintenance of Certification for Anesthesiology) credits.

Can you give us an overview of the kinds of products that the IARS offers?

IARS offers a range of learning opportunities in addition to our journals, which offer continuing medical education (CME). Learning is an important part of our annual meeting, and we also produce a webinar series that offers accredited CME. OpenAnesthesia offers peer-reviewed educational content on core topics and includes podcast and video aimed at trainees and qualified physicians. The online course, EEG for Anesthesia, comprises three modules on the basics of EEG and offers both AMA and MOCA credits. SelfStudyPLUS is a dedicated resident training resource that uses adaptive AI technology to enhance learning.

How do you develop all the content you need for these products?

We develop most of the content ourselves. We do have one product, EEG for Anesthesia, that was developed with Massachusetts General Hospital, but generally content comes from our journal or annual meeting or is developed specifically for our learning products. For example, our webinars are developed with the help of the journal’s editorial board. And we develop our own CME activities based on content we already have.

Overall, do you think you make the most of the content that you have?

Resourcing is an issue for us. We have a small staff team and rely heavily on our member volunteers.  We would like to be able to offer more CME credits based on our journal and meeting content, but we are limited by resources. And our webinars are very popular, attracting up to 250 attendees.  Ideally, I would like to be able to run one of these sessions every month based on key topics, perhaps from the journal. But our learning products are free to members and often free to anyone working in this area. This is part of the society’s mission to reach out to the wider community globally but does limit our ability to do more.

Any recommendations for other societies who may be thinking about doing more in this area?

IARS originally decided to develop its own technology to support specifically SelfStudyPLUS.  We partnered with a technology company to do this with a view to sharing this technology with other societies. In the end, the technology partner decided to go in a different direction leaving the IARS with a real challenge to support our platform. Our key takeaway from this experience was to stick with what you do best – supporting members with great content – and leaving technology to experts in that field. I would also say, you can be ambitious with what you can do with limited resources if you can work well with your member volunteers.

Learn More

Maverick offers a global network of professionals with the depth and breadth of experience to match the exact needs of any project. Our Professional Education program helps you take advantage of opportunities by providing a simple, practical process to repurpose the investment in your content into new offerings. Reach out to your Maverick representative or email us at to learn more.

By Jayne Marks, Maverick Senior Associate

Jayne Marks brings over 40 years of scholarly publishing experience to Maverick. She has worked at senior levels in a variety of companies helping to devise and deliver on business strategies tailored for different markets. Throughout her career, Jayne has responded to ever-changing market environments by developing new product, sales, or content strategies to maximize new opportunities. Jayne’s primary focus has been on understanding the needs of the customers and markets that her products serve and ensuring they evolve to meet changing needs.

Further Reading

New product development and the potential for AI in Professional Education

Maximize your content with Maverick’s Professional Education program

Maverick’s Professional Education Service Sheet