Educational “events” have only a small part in how doctors learn, conference is told

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 01 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4255
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The requirement that doctors keep their skills and knowledge up to date has become an item of faith in most developed countries, but evidence on how best it can be done is scarce, and there is no adequate way of measuring its effectiveness, a conference at BMA House in London on 26 June was told.

The conference, jointly organised by the BMJ and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, was jolted out of any sense of complacency by these claims from Janet Grant, an educational psychologist who is director of the Centre for Medical Education in Context.

“There are a lot of declamatory statements and a lot of assertions made about continuing medical education,” she said, “but not a lot of evidence, no common rationale, no systematic relationship to need, and no robust evidence of beneficial effects on a …

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