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May 14, 1997

Adverse Outcomes of Underuse of β-Blockers in Elderly Patients

Author Affiliations

Tucson, Ariz

JAMA. 1997;277(18):1436. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540420032021

To the Editor.  —The Editorial by Drs Felch and Scanlon1 summarizing the status of continuing medical education (CME) enumerates all the conventional approaches to CME and suggests that the correct answer is all of the above. But, as the authors acknowledge, educational techniques involving self-study, occasional courses, seminars, and consultations have never been more than an approximate answer to the problems of comprehensive coverage of one's area of practice or of accurate recall of specific information when a clinical challenge arises. Indeed, given the complexity of the practice of even a limited specialty, it is ludicrous to think that anyone can acquire or retain by occasional study more than a fraction of the information necessary for optimal care of each patient in a physician's practice. Add the fact that clinicians vary widely in their CME effort and the result is a situation in which substantial numbers of patients are denied access to