January 8, 1997

Bridging the Gap Between Research and PracticeThe Role of Continuing Medical Education

JAMA. 1997;277(2):155-156. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540260069039

The dream of medicine for the new millennium1—that the care of patients will be evidence based, supported by carefully designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and validated by focused outcomes studies—will only be fully realized when the major players in the health care arena find improved ways to work together.

See also p 115.

The first player is the research community, that mix of academia, industry, and government that supplies innovations in medical science and technology, including new drugs, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic devices.

The second is the practicing community, mostly physician providers of medical care. This seemingly homogeneous group is in truth a diverse lot, made up of women and men, of soloists and partners, of generalists and specialists, of neophytes and old hands. There are abundant anecdotes suggesting that physicians are unique individuals with widely different characteristics and goals.

The issue confronting us is this: How can