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From The CriticsReviewer: Nathaniel Scott Winstead, MS, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This is an instruction manual on conducting continuing professional development for physicians, educators, administrators, and others involved in medical education.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to provide a paradigm to those professionals who develop continuing professional development (CPD) programs. The authors divide this paradigm into three sections: determining what to do, developing CPD activities, and evaluating outcomes. The authors choose to use a "clinical thematic" to describe each of these sections — emphasizing the fact that CPD should be focused on the patient encounter. These are certainly worthy objectives. The need for CPD is expanding and this book has the opportunity to improve CPD activities for many, many physicians. The book meets the authors' objectives. Despite having 30 contributors, they maintain a consistent approach and maintain the clinical focus throughout.
Audience: The authors state that the major target of the book is the provider of continuing medical education (CME) or CPD. They go on to state that there is a larger audience including policy-setters, medical educators, managers, and educational researchers. It is written for all specialties, and the authorship represents experts in CPD from a broad range of specialties. As a medical educator myself, I found the book to be very appropriate and useful. This book would certainly be useful to any of the target audiences that the authors describe.
Features: The book covers the major areas pointed out previously: deciding what to do; developing CPD/CME activities; and evaluating outcomes. The nice thing about the book is that with each of the three main objectives, they cover four separate contexts: patient, physician, clinical context, and community. This helps emphasize the fact that CPD is about more than the individual physician's knowledge base. This approach struck me as novel and seems to be a better way to approach the issue of CPD. There are excellent chapters on small and large group learning; providing feedback to individuals; and tailoring the teaching to individual learners.
Assessment: This book meets its stated objectives and is a useful addition to this literature. It would be a good book for anyone involved in medical education at almost any level.