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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-92

Continuing professional development of doctors


1 Department of Pathology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab 141008, India

Correspondence Address:
Tejinder Singh
Department of Paediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab 141008
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 28816218

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After graduating from medical school, all doctors need to undertake some training activities lifelong to maintain, update or develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes towards their professional practice. Continuing professional development (CPD) refers to continuing development of medical and non- medical competencies including professionalism, and interpersonal, managerial and communication skills. There is no single correct way of doing CPD. Most learning in CPD is self-directed and based on one's own learning needs. Effective CPD is characterized by the presence of three factors: a clear reason why a particular CPD needs to be undertaken, learning activities appropriate to identified needs and follow- up on learning. There are several models for CPD. However, the onus is on doctors to show that they continue to maintain appropriate professional standards after training. Here, regulation becomes essential for revalidation, monitoring and to provide the necessary impetus to make CPD mandatory. In India, the credit point system is followed by some states, but the policy to link credit hours with renewal of registration thereafter is not uniform. While the present system is able to monitor time devoted to CPD, it encourages people to gather certificates of attendance at sessions without relevance to or real interest in the subject. The quality and relevance of CPD activities matter more than the quantity of hours. Eventually, we need to move away from credit point counting towards a process of self-accreditation and reflection. Each individual will have to find appropriate methods, learn, document and present evidence that learning has happened, and show that it has been applied in practice. As a profession, we need to encourage a culture where doctors do not view CPD and recertification as a threat. Doctors will need to understand that they are accountable to their patients, and should prioritize and build CPD into their practice.


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