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August 13, 1973

The Role of State Medical Associations in Continuing Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Santa Ana, Calif

JAMA. 1973;225(7):732. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220340042013

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State medical associations must define the role they are to play in the continuing education of their members. The production or stimulation of more programs in continuing medical education—programs that are designed to transfer information—is unlikely to help a profession that is drowning in a flood of information. "Opening the floodgates further is unlikely to help a drowning man."

The ultimate goal of continuing medical education is continually improving patient care. One cannot realistically design a program to improve patient care unless there is an agreement on exactly what there is about correct patient care that needs improving, and one cannot evaluate the effectiveness of the continuing medical education without measuring the impact on the quality of patient care.

There is no expert, text, or other person that has a priori knowledge of what a physician should be doing to improve the quality of care he provides for his patients.