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August 9, 1965

Greatest Challenge in Medicine Today: Continuing Education

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Educational Services and Continuing Education, Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

JAMA. 1965;193(6):432-435. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090060022005

A human being engaged in medicine for any length of time must be aware of two kinds of change taking place in his profession. There is the change, brought about in part by his own efforts, in the work which engages his interest. It involves the successive solution of problems standing between himself and his objective.

The second kind of change is harder to define. It includes changes in relationships in community living, changes in means of communication, and finally even changes in objectives. It is slow and amorphous and nondirectional, and it is easy to ignore.

This second kind of change seriously challenges the progress we have made in the practice of medicine, not only because of the items mentioned above but chiefly because of the successes we have had. Medical research has been so productive that it threatens our integrity. We are in danger of becoming a profession

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