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March 16, 1984

Unsatisfactory Continuing Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Lansing, Mich

JAMA. 1984;251(11):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340350025017

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To the Editor.—  I have been consistently disappointed with one important aspect of continuing medical education (CME) programs. In 89 of the last 96 (93%) CME events I've attended, lecturers did not make available a list of references. Instead, important information was described with either no references cited or, more often, with mere fleeting oral mention such as "Jones in 1980 foundAssertions made at the podium simply are not a satisfactory reason for physicians to change management practices. Better medical care will result if CME programs ensure that at least short lists of key references are made available. It seems likely that such a practice would encourage more rigorous thinking by the speakers, increase the likelihood that participants obtain accurate and useful information, and assist interested physicians in forming a sounder appreciation of the information conveyed by the speakers.