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“ Continuing medical education is a distinct and definable
activity that supports the professional development of
physicians and leads to improved patient outcomes. It
encompasses all of the learning experiences that
physicians engage in with the conscious intent of regularly
and continually improving their performance of professional
duties and responsibilities. Essential to the continuum of
medical education, CME shapes the growth and
development of physicians in their full range of duties and
( Academic Medicine , 2000, 75:1167-1172)
“ In what is typically an intensive 2- or 3- day short course, (instructors lecture and lecture and lecture) fairly large groups of…professional people who sit for long hours in an audiovisual twilight, making never-to-be-read notes at rows of narrow tables covered with green baize and appointed with fat binders and sweating pitchers of ice water.” Philip Nowlen, 1988
EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERVENTIONS by Type of Intervention Number of interventions demonstrating positive or negative/ inconclusive change (presented by Dave Davis, MD to the Specialty Society SIG at the Alliance for CME Annual Conference January, 2000 ) Positive outcomes Negative/inconclusive outcomes
CME planning and program development should be based on needs assessment, including outcomes data.
Goal of CME should include the development of skills necessary for lifelong learning, the exercise of clinical reasoning, an understanding of the decision making process, and specific content acquisition.
Multiple goals of CME should be reinforced by the appropriate choice of learning methods
Incorporation of new instructional technologies for CME should be based on their intrinsic strengths as learning tools after thorough evaluation
Faculty development is important within CME and should include exposure to new learning methods (theory and application), enabling faculty to translate their content expertise into formats more appropriate to learners' needs.
Educational activities should be supportive of and coordinated with the transition to evidence-based medicine.
Professional and, whenever possible, interdisciplinary interaction should be given priority in CME programming.
Outcomes-based measures of CME effectiveness and research should be introduced into the determinants of physicians' practice behaviors.
( Academic Medicine , Vol. 74, No 12/December 1999)
"Physicians must understand and control their own learning experiences with access to professional activities that are appropriate for the practice environment."
(Bennet, et al)
"The efficiency and effectiveness of learning in the workplace is related to a physician's ability to select the right problems to solve, frame the problem in terms of a question or problem statement, successfully obtain and appraise the information retrieved, and develop a plan to integrate the learning into practice."
Determining if the content of the CME program is relevant
Using the CME event as one of several resources selected for learning
Already implementing changes in practice and seeking assurance of doing the "right thing"
Assessment of Outcomes in Continuing Education (Adapted from Dixon, J. Eval. & the Health Prof. 1977 and presented by Davis to the Specialty Society SIG at the Alliance for CME Annual Conference, January, 2000) LEVELS 1 2 3 4 Opinions, Perceptions, Attendance Data Competence (knowledge, skills, attitudes) of Health Professionals Health Professional Performance Patient/Health Care Outcomes
Barriers to Measuring the Effectiveness of Level 3 and Level 4 Educational Interventions
Ability to demonstrate a causal relationship between the educational intervention and the observed effect
Nature of specialty society CME targeted to a national audience
Guide physician learners as they continually assess their own ongoing learning needs, and identify opportunities and resources to meet those needs in order to enhance performance and promote lifelong learning skills
Study the role of continuing professional development to enhance physicians' knowledge, performance, and health care outcomes
Design a CME list of effective educational strategies that uses research findings about how physicians learn and enact changes in their professional behaviors, and that addresses the variety of learning styles and learning needs
Cooperate with CME educators and others throughout the continuum of medical education to maximize the ability of CME to meet the varied learning needs of physicians and health care systems
Ensure that systems for measuring improvement of physician performance link CME to health care outcomes
Enhance the professional development of CME educators, including their understanding and use of theory and research to provide effective support for appropriate changes in physicians' knowledge, performance, and health care outcomes
(Academic Medicine , 2000, 75:1167-1172)
American Academy of Pediatrics Continuing Medical Education Mission Statement
The continuing medical education program of the American
Academy of Pediatrics seeks to develop, maintain and/or
increase the knowledge, skills and professional
performance of primary care pediatricians, pediatric
medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical specialists, and
other pediatric health professionals by providing them with
the highest quality, most relevant and accessible
education experiences possible…. The ultimate goal of
the overall CME program is for participants to better identify
their personal educational needs and be able to design
appropriate self-directed learning plans to meet those
Davis DA, Thomson MA, Freemantle N, et al: Impact of formal continuing medical education: Do conferences, workshops, rounds and other traditional continuing education activities change physicians behavior or health care outcomes? JAMA 1999; 282:867-874.
Fox RD, Mazmanian PE, Putnam RW: Changing and Learning in the Lives of Physicians. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1989.
Manning Phil R, DeBakey L: Continuing Medical Education: The Paradigm Is Changing. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 2001, Volume 21, pp 46-54.
Oxman, AD, Thomason MA, Davis DA, et al: No magic bullets: A systematic review of 102 trials of interventions to improve professional practice. Can Med Assoc J 1995; 15:153.