The Albany Two-Way Radio Conferences, 1955–1981: A Retrospective Look at a Program Providing Interactive Continuing Medical Education at a Distance

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Despite early widespread recognition of the necessity of continuing medical education (CME) for practicing physicians and surgeons, medical schools and national medical organizations were slow to mobilize to address the need. One pioneering program, developed by the Albany Medical College in New York, not only provided CME, but did so in a live distance education format that allowed for interaction between the participants and the faculty presenters. The Albany Program commenced in 1955 using what was then state-of-the-art technology; it exemplified principles and practices that can be seen as the precursors for the distance education approaches used to reach physicians today. This short article describes the contributions of the Albany Two-Way Radio Conferences and places them in the context of developments in national organizations and policies in the 20th century.

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