Continuing Professional Development in the Twenty-First Century

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Abstract

The critical role of continuing professional development (CPD) in supporting delivery of patient care of the highest quality and safety is receiving significant attention in the current era of monumental change. CPD is essential in efforts to ensure effectiveness of new models of health care delivery, improve outcomes and value in health care, address external regulations, and foster patient engagement. The unique features of CPD; the use of special mastery-based teaching, learning, and assessment methods, and other special interventions to promote excellence; and direct involvement of a variety of key stakeholders differentiate CPD from undergraduate medical education and graduate medical education. The needs of procedural specialties relating to CPD are different from those of primary care disciplines and require special attention for the greatest impact. Simulation-based education and training can be very useful in CPD aimed at improving outcomes and promoting patient safety. Preceptoring, proctoring, mentoring, and coaching should be used routinely to address specific needs in CPD. Distinct CPD strategies are necessary for retraining, reentry, and remediation. Participation in CPD programs can be encouraged by leveraging the joy of learning, which should drive physicians and surgeons to strive continually to be the best in their professional work.

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