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June 6, 1977

Stop the Continuing Education BandwagonI Want To Get Off To Take a Side Trip

JAMA. 1977;237(23):2518-2519. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270500070030

AS I VIEW continuing education for physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel, it appears that a formalized structure is being developed that is constraining rather than stimulating the pursuit of knowledge. A system of recognition, certification, and accreditation is being established that stresses traditionally oriented organized programs and fails to recognize the needs, objectives, initiative, and responsibility of the individual in planning and seeking his own continuing education.

Programs are generally oriented toward the needs of the urban hospital-affiliated person who practices within a traditional setting and who is not exploring new frontiers in the health care system. Programs of continuing education directed toward nurses and other nonphysicians appear to be oriented toward the needs of the employer and the interests of the regulatory agencies rather than the interests of the person seeking the education. Recognition and accreditation of education, especially for nonphysicians, appear to ignore the motivation and responsibility