Perioperative Medicine in Action

Perioperative Medicine in Action

Explore perioperative medicine and how you can improve care for the high risk surgical patient. Join this RCoA endorsed course.

Make a difference: Improve patient outcomes with perioperative medicine

Too many patients die or suffer prolonged complications following surgery.

Perioperative medicine is an emerging, multi-disciplinary approach which seeks to optimise the care of high-risk surgical patients. It encompasses disciplines such as anaesthetics, surgery, nursing, elderly care, physiotherapy and healthcare management.

In this RCoA-endorsed course, developed by anaesthetists at University College London (UCL) Hospitals, you’ll learn the key concepts you need to improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs.

Perioperative Medicine in Action

Advancing Patient Safety: Navigating Perioperative Medicine for High-Risk Surgical Patients

Perioperative medicine is a specialized field within healthcare that focuses on the comprehensive care of patients before, during, and after surgical procedures.

It aims to optimize the overall health and well-being of patients undergoing surgery, especially those at high risk due to various medical conditions.

The scope of perioperative medicine encompasses a range of assessments, interventions, and collaborative efforts involving an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, and nurses.

By thoroughly evaluating a patient’s medical history, current health status, and potential risk factors, perioperative practitioners can tailor an individualized care plan that minimizes complications and enhances surgical outcomes.

This may involve preoperative risk assessment, optimization of chronic medical conditions, management of medications, and coordination of postoperative care.

The field’s evolving research and advancements contribute to improved care protocols, reduced postoperative complications, shorter hospital stays, and enhanced patient satisfaction.

Enhancing care for high-risk surgical patients involves a multidimensional approach that combines medical expertise with strategic interventions.

By focusing on preoperative risk stratification, clinicians can identify patients who may be susceptible to complications and devise strategies to mitigate potential issues.

Collaborative efforts between the surgical and medical teams are crucial in making informed decisions about the timing and type of surgery, as well as the choice of anesthesia and postoperative monitoring.

Interventions such as optimizing cardiovascular and pulmonary function, addressing nutritional deficiencies, and managing chronic diseases play a pivotal role in reducing perioperative risks.

Advances in technology, such as minimally invasive surgical techniques and enhanced monitoring devices, provide additional tools for improving patient care.

Furthermore, patient education and informed consent ensure that individuals understand the risks and benefits of their surgical journey, fostering a partnership between healthcare providers and patients.

Overall, a comprehensive perioperative medicine approach empowers healthcare teams to provide high-risk surgical patients with personalized, evidence-based care that maximizes their safety and well-being throughout the surgical process.

Spanish translation available / traducción al español disponible.


  • Week 1The Surgical Epidemic 
  • Week 2Decision Making and Risk Assessment 
  • Week 3Protocolised Care Pathways 
  • Week 4An Age Old Problem 

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available nowJoin today
Perioperative Medicine in Action

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Justify the need for better, more holistic care for the high risk surgical patient, to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Engage with risk assessment tools to characterise and quantify the risk of an individual undergoing a particular procedure.
  • Demonstrate the need for protocolised care pathways and evaluate the success of the enhanced recovery programmes in reducing variance in practice.
  • Describe the major challenges in delivering perioperative medicine for the elderly.
  • Discuss the current economic pressure on healthcare systems and how perioperative medicine can be used to reduce these pressures.

Who is the course for?

This RCoA endorsed course is aimed at all interested healthcare professionals, both medical and allied health professionals. This would include anaesthetists, surgeons, care-of-the-elderly physicians, pre-assessment nurses, surgical ward nurses, operating department staff, physiotherapists and medical managers, emphasising that enhanced care and improved outcomes depend on a multidisciplinary approach.

Healthcare professionals might find the the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or commitment to their career.

Although some of the statistics and guidelines are UK specific, the key concepts and learning aims are relevant at an international level.

This run of the course will include Spanish translation of course materials / el curso ofrecerá traducción al español.

Who will you learn with?

Abigail Whiteman

Abigail Whiteman

Abigail is a consultant in anaesthesia at University College Hospital, London and an honorary associate professor at UCL. Her main specialist interests are perioperative medicine and medical education

Katie Samuel

Katie Samuel

Katie is an Anaesthetic Consultant in the UK

Twitter: @katie_samuel_

Who developed the course?

UCL logo
UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

Perioperative Medicine in Action

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Perioperative Medicine in Action

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