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My Own Private Carnival

September 20, 2010

If you wander around the blogosphere a bit, you will encounter blog carnivals.  No cotton candy or tents needed for these events; no, a blog carnival collects and links to a variety of posts on a theme of some sort. Some have described these as online magazines, but they often collect posts originally written without the carnival in mind.

Over the past couple of weeks, I wrote my own private carnival of sorts. My “professional hobby” is faculty development, the ongoing education and development of those of us who practice and teach and work with the academic health center. In these posts I explored many aspects of  continuing education.

The first post examined the whole concept of ongoing education in medicine. From day one of medical school, we were told that we had signed on for life-long education, but did we swear it when we took our oath as physicians? Probably not, although some ethicists consider continuing medical education (CME) implicit in the principles of beneficence and nonmalificence.

The next one considered the history of CME. While the gizmos and bells and whistles have changed, the nature of most CME offerings has remained static over the past century:

The first documented continuing medical education (CME) program was the “Blackburn Plan.” Weekly one-hour sessions taught basic science and treatment techniques to general practitioners with the opportunity for questions and answers. Sounds a bit like current grand rounds to me – except without PowerPoint.

CME involves lots of money in North America, in part because CME is a requirement for practice of medicine in most states. How is medical practice regulated? Once you understand the requirement for CME, its regulation must be examined as well.

The Institute of Medicine issued a report last year calling for reorganization of US CME delivery and more study of what works to change practice and, ultimately, improve outcomes for patients. It’s an exciting time to work in the ongoing education of health care professionals!

Image courtesy of PhotoXpress.

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