The Leadership Case for Investing in Continuing Professional Development
Continuing medical education (CME) has the power and capacity to address many challenges in the health care environment, from clinician well-being to national imperatives for better health, better care, and lower cost. Health care leaders who recognize the strategic value of education and engage their people in education can expect a meaningful return on their investment—not only in terms of the quality and safety of their clinicians’ work but also in the spirit and cohesiveness of the clinicians who work at their institution. To optimize the benefits of education, clinical leaders need to think of accredited CME as the professional development vehicle that can help them drive change and achieve goals, in consort with quality improvement efforts, patient safety projects, and other systems changes. An empowered CME program, with its multiprofessional scope and educational expertise, can contribute to initiatives focused on both clinical and nonclinical areas, such as quality and safety, professionalism, team communication, and process improvements. In this Invited Commentary, the author describes principles and action steps for aligning leadership and educational strategy and urges institutional leaders to embrace the continuing professional development of their human capital as an organizational responsibility and opportunity and to view engagement in education as an investment in people.