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October 18, 2010

Gap-Based Education, Changing Competence, and Dermatology Simulation: A Glimpse at the Future of CME

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Dermatology, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(10):1157-1160. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.273

In this issue of the Archives, Robinson et al1 describe a simulation module using artificial skin lesion moulages that compare student diagnoses of suspect acral lesions in non-Hispanic white and black patients. In doing so, the authors provide readers with a glimpse of continuing medical education (CME) of the future.

In 2006, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME),2 the credentialing body for CME in the United States, published new criteria for CME providers. The new requirements were instituted, in part, to address the ineffectiveness of most of the current CME programming at measurably changing physician behavior. Traditional lecture-based CME, while reportedly satisfying most physicians, has very little effect on physician performance or patient health outcomes3 despite its high costs—in 2008, the ACCME4,5 estimates that $2.37 billion was spent on CME in the United States, or approximately $3600 per US physician!

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