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October 14, 1968

Physicians' Needs and Interests in Continuing Medical Education

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Postgraduate Medical Education, University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City (Dr. Castle), and the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia (Dr. Storey).

JAMA. 1968;206(3):611-614. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150030067014

To improve the quality of patient care, continuing medical education must be oriented to the individual physician's practice and must be related to his particular interests and needs. All physicians are interested in learning when they have a need to know and when they are able to get help on their own terms. They want to become more efficient in their practices as well as to learn how to practice better. We know very little about the practical educational needs of the practicing physician and there are few instruments available to assist us or him in diagnosing his needs. Even if he manages to diagnose his own needs, few opportunities exist for him to express them. It is also true that on their own, individuals tend not to express precisely what they need, but rather their interests. A first step, therefore, would seem to be to engage physicians in a