Monday, June 24, 2013

Continuing Medical Education

Staying current in the rapidly changing world of medical education, guidelines, protocols, and technological innovations is a continual challenge for most practitioners.  Having practiced since 1975, multiple reinventions of the wheel, standard of care, and now evidence-based medicine have all had their days in the sun. 

Evidence based medicine is now the buzzword for all education, but unfortunately, a lot of the data was not obtained in blinded, multi-center, prospective studies.  Much of the information is gleaned in meta-analysis format that uses flawed data as the source of their conclusions.

Treatment plans, protocols, and guidelines are far superior then in the past, but again contain "expert opinion" not necessarily the true facts.  What is left out in these plans is the "Art of Medicine".  An experienced clinician can take the best of the information and cater it to the individual patient.

How does one keep up?
  1. Develop a consistent plan that teaches you what is presently being taught in the residencies and medical schools.  Take this information and adapt it to the reality of your practice.
  2. Maintain Board Certification because it forces one to take an extensive review course in 8-9 years.
  3. If possible, work with others.  Isolation leads to "antique practices".
  4. have continuous access to the Internet at work- the former peripheral brain, or notebook in the pocket, with modern enhancement!
What to read/review?  These are what I use and have kept me pretty current.  These are not direct recommendations, but suggestions based on my specialty and practice.
  1. Emergency Medical Abstracts- reviews the literature.
  2. Risk Management Monthly- all the lawyers I know listen to it!
  3. Emergency Medicine: Reviews and Perspectives (EM:RAP)- current real-time podcast education with practicing professors.
  4. American Board of Emergency Medicine- Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA)
  5. Medscape

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