Editorials

Continuing medical education: where next?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7133.721 (Published 07 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:721

Doctors must manage their own education

  1. Peter Toghill, Director of continuing medical education
  1. Royal College of Physicians, London NW1 4LE

    The recent BMJ series on continuing medical education highlights the need for more efficient, up to date, and accountable programmes. Over the past three to four years the royal medical colleges in Britain have implemented their own schemes of formal continuing education. Adequate educational opportunities now exist for most British clinicians,1 though much of the education offered is a diet of lectures, symposiums, and specialist society meetings. Given that lectures are not the ideal vehicle for adult learning, what other initiatives are available for practising doctors and what can we learn from new developments in Britain and world wide?

    There are two ground rules. Firstly, every doctor has a personal responsibility to keep up to date and, secondly, trained professionals must be responsible for directing their own lifelong learning. 2 3 Accordingly, to help clinicians cope with the prodigious growth of information and to focus their effort, colleges and specialist societies have introduced, or are introducing, journal articles specifically designed for continuing medical education: many include …

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