Journal of Indira Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences

SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 146--147

Need and role of continuing medical education programs to produce lifelong learners


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India

Abstract

The branch of medicine is extremely vast and it keeps advancing with each day, and thus, there is an immense need that all medical students should develop competency of being lifelong learner. Regular participation in continuing medical education (CME) programs seems to be the solution to the challenge of staying abreast with the recent developments in medicine. The topic for any CME should be decided with the help of a thorough needs assessment either using a subjective or objective approach. The need assessment should be followed by the formulation of specific learning objectives and decisions about the format of the planned CME. In conclusion, CME programs are the answer to improve the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals and thereby ameliorate the quality of care. It is the need of the hour to motivate doctors to periodically participate in such programs and in the process to become self-directed and lifelong learners.



How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need and role of continuing medical education programs to produce lifelong learners.J Indira Gandhi Inst Med Sci 2021;7:146-147


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need and role of continuing medical education programs to produce lifelong learners. J Indira Gandhi Inst Med Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 17 ];7:146-147
Available from: http://www.jigims.co.in/text.asp?2021/7/2/146/331756


Full Text



 Introduction



The branch of medicine is extremely vast and it keeps advancing with each day, and thus, there is an immense need that all medical students should develop competency of being lifelong learner. The same stands true for other healthcare professionals, where staying abreast with the recent advances is the need of the hour and each and every one of us should be dedicated to improve our knowledge and refine our skills to ensure improvement in the delivery of healthcare services.[1] Regular participation in continuing medical education (CME) programs or faculty development programs (FDPs, for healthcare professionals working in a medical college) seems to be the solution to the challenge of staying abreast with the recent developments in medicine.[1],[2]

 Continuing Medical Education and its Scope



In general, CME refers to an activity that is done with an intention to sustain, advance, or improve the knowledge, skills, and performance of a healthcare professional, thereby ensuring improvement in the quality of service/care delivered to the patient or the public or the profession.[1],[3] CME plays a defining role in improving healthcare by bridging the existing clinical care gap – which is usually created when the protocol to manage a patient is not strictly adhered (such as underused or overused or misused). We must acknowledge that over the years, the primary focus of a CME session has shifted from mere improvement in knowledge to improving the performance of the doctor in their clinical practice.[2],[3]

 Targeted Needs Assessment



The topic of a CME program can be determined by a number of factors, namely change in the patient dynamics (such as presentation of number of under-five children or people with diabetes-related complications), financial support availability, resources, time factor, norms of regulatory bodies, and criteria for renewal of license.[2],[3],[4] However, the ideal way is to perform a thorough needs assessment either using a subjective (through questionnaire, focus groups, in-depth interviews, logbooks, etc.) or objective (via review of literature, experts' opinion, peer review, standardized assessments of knowledge and/or skills, etc.) approach.[3] We have to be extremely careful that the content of the planned CME should not be influenced by commercial organizations, which is supporting the conduction of FDP.[5]

 Subsequent Steps



The need assessment should be followed by the formulation of specific learning objectives for the planned CME, which can vary from mere introduction of new concepts, sharing specific practice recommendations, giving a platform for discussion of controversial issues to training new skills.[3],[4] It is also important for the organizers to decide the format of the planned CME – face-to-face or online (quite common in the current era of coronavirus disease pandemic). We have to give due consideration to the duration of the session and the anticipated number of audiences, as the aim should be to organize a learner-centered session.[1],[2] In fact, all efforts should be taken to ensure active engagement and enhance the interaction among the participants, and this can be accomplished by a good set induction, inclusion of quizzes or small paper case, periodic questioning, use of technology (through clickers), and employment of other interactive teaching methods (such as Buzz, Pyramiding, Think-pair-share, and Brainstorming).[2],[3],[4]

 Evaluation Plan of Continuing Medical Education



Moreover, it is quite essential to define the plan for the evaluation of the CME right from the stage of planning with an aim to ascertain whether the intended learning outcomes are attained or not.[1],[2] The plan of evaluation of CME can be formulated using Kirkpatrick levels of evaluation, wherein feedback from the participants about different aspects of CME (Level 1), comparison between the scoring of pretest and posttest (Level 2), follow-up questionnaire to assess the change in behavior (Level 3), and changes in the targeted outcomes (Level 4).[2],[3] Although the process of evaluation is resource-intensive, the findings of evaluation can improve the future CME programs and benefit the participants to a significant extent.[3]

 Conclusion



CME programs are the answer to improve the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals and thereby ameliorate the quality of care. It is the need of the hour to motivate the doctors to periodically participate in such programs and in the process to become self-directed and lifelong learners.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Suster S. On the importance of continuing medical education. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2019;143:1442-3.
2Kleinsinger F. Changing continuing medical education. JAMA 2015;314:1073-4.
3Davis N, Davis D, Bloch R. Continuing medical education: AMEE Education Guide No. 35. Med Teach 2008;30:652-66.
4McConnell M, Hou C, Panju M, Panju A, Azzam K. Does testing enhance learning in continuing medical education? Can Med Educ J 2018;9:e83-8.
5Rhodes R, Capozzi JD. Corporate sponsorship of continuing medical education. Virtual Mentor 2007;9:109-12.