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November 17, 1978

Dangerous to Your Health

Author Affiliations

New Mexico Board of Medical Examiners Santa Fe

JAMA. 1978;240(21):2248. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290210030012

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To the Editor.—  Because of several articles that have recently been published emphasizing the negative aspects of continuing medical education (CME), one might conclude that a paraphrase of the warning in cigarette advertisements should appear in each program. It might read as follows: "The faculty has determined that continuing education is dangerous to your mental health."The article by Stross and Harlan entitled "The Impact of Mandatory Continuing Medical Education" (239:2663, 1978) is no exception. The authors have joined the chorus of people who claim that no one has proved that CME causes changes in the habits of practice of physicians or that they even learn anything from their efforts. I dispute these claims. Habits of practice tend to change gradually rather than overnight. Furthermore, individuals learn in various ways. Regardless of methods, however, all improvements in practice are due to some form of continuing education so that with present