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Annual Oration of 1980

CME: Boon or Bane

Orator: Joseph S. Sherer, M.D.

Synopsis of Oration:

Dr. Sherer describes the present system of continuing medical education (CME). A urologist, he uses the American Urological Association (AUA) program as a model for CME structuring. He outlines the questions raised about CME, such as whether doctors learn better in one form over another and whether there are too many courses offered now, as opposed to too few a few years ago, and how to determine the quality of courses. A big problem is reaching doctors who need the most CME and who are least likely to seek it out. Also, doctors often do not learn anything from CME because they either do not pay attention in courses or do not attend programs at all. The most important aspect of CME that must be considered is "what does the American physician need 5, 10, 30 years out of medical school, and how best can we deliver the product without waste of manpower? How best can this knowledge be imparted to improve patient care?". The problems with CME raise the question of whether the entire concept should be forgotten, rather than waste the time and money of doctors and lecturers and deal with the confusions of program accreditation and collecting enough CME credits. However, as one physician said, "it is beyond dispute that knowledge can not be used if the physician does not have it," and therefore CME programs must continue.


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