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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2014 Apr-Jun;21(2):134-41. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.129760.

Continuing professional development: best practices.

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  • 1Ultrasound Department, Ocular Surface Disease Department, Head of Contact Lens Unit of Institute of Ophthalmology Dr. Gama Pinto, Lisbon, Portugal, UE.
  • 2Ophthalmology Pediatric Department, Head of Genetic Department, Coimbra University Hospitals, IBILI, Professor of the Medicine Faculty of Coimbra University, Coimbra, Portugal, UE.
  • 3Department of Ophthalmology, Emeritus Professor of University of the Free State, Kimberley Hospital Complex, Kimberley, South Africa.
  • 4Department of Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at University of Cincinnati, Cincinati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.


Continuing professional development (CPD) involves not only educational activities to enhance medical competence in medical knowledge and skills, but also in management, team building, professionalism, interpersonal communication, technology, teaching, and accountability. This paper aims at reviewing best practices to promote effective CPD. Principles and guidelines, as already defined by some professional societies and world organizations, are emphasized as core actions to best enhance an effective lifelong learning after residency. The personal learning plan (PLP) is discussed as the core of a well-structured CPD and we describe how it should be created. Fundamental CPD principles and how they are integrated in the framework of every physician's professional life will be described. The value of systematic and comprehensive CPD documentation and assessment is emphasized. Accreditation requirements and professional relationships with commercial sponsors are discussed.


Accreditation; Appraisal; Continuing Medical Education; Continuing Professional Development Clinical Audit; Personal Learning Plan; Portfolio; Revalidation

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