Continuing professional development and Irish hospital doctors: a survey of current use and future needs

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Abstract

Doctors rate clinical relevance and applicability as the most important determinants of continuing professional development (CPD) course selection. This study examined patterns of current CPD practice and perceived CPD needs among hospital doctors in Ireland across various clinical specialties. A cross-sectional survey was administered to doctors, focusing on the areas of training needs analysis, CPD course content and preferred course format. In total, 547 doctors identified doctor-patient communication as the skill ranked highest for importance and level of current performance. Workload/time organisation and stress management were areas where a skills deficiency was identified. Non-clinical CPD topics, including resilience training, management and communication skills, were preferred areas for future CPD offerings. All respondents favoured interactive, hands-on sessions. CPD course completion and preference patterns differed significantly across clinical specialties. These results highlight the importance of considering the individual needs and preferences of clinicians across clinical specialties to facilitate more effective CPD programmes.

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