October 17, 1990

Changing and Learning in the Lives of Physicians

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles


edited by Robert D. Fox, Paul E. Mazmanian, and R. Wayne Putnam, 195 pp, with illus, $42.95, ISBN 0-275-9338-5, New York, NY, Praeger, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;264(15):2015. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150117045

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The purpose of continuing medical education is to encourage a change in the behavior of practitioners to enable them to keep pace with advances in medical science occurring since their formal training was completed. While there are many opinions and arguments as to whether traditional continuing medical education can productively change the practitioner's approach to problems, I know of no previous study that has attempted to analyze the multiple and complex reasons that seem to generate change. The authors of this book, all excellent contributors to the field of continuing education, have done just that.

By a guided interview process, they have approached three questions: (1) What changes have you made or have occurred in your life or practice during the last year? (2) What caused this change to occur? and (3) Did you learn anything in order to make this change? For the purposes of the study the authors