Researchers of the past decade produced systematic reviews of continuing
medical education (CME) and other strategies intended to change physician
behavior and improve patient outcomes.2- 7
The subjects of the reviews included such concepts as audit and feedback,
chart-based reminders, clinical practice guidelines, and formal lectures.
Defined as interventions to change the behavior of physicians, the effects
of those strategies were inconsistent across practitioners, settings, and
As a result, in the midst of contemporary discussions about quality improvement
and the effects of continuing education, there is no singularly effective
method for improving physician performance.6,8
Physicians must accept responsibility for their own continuous learning: setting
goals and selecting educational activities to achieve those goals. We searched
the Research and Development Resource Base in Continuing Medical Education
and the Specialised Register of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization
of Care group, supplemented by searches of MEDLINE from 1992 to February 2002
for systematic reviews and evidence of CME and its effect on both physicians
and CME planners.
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Web of Science® Times Cited: 222
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