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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2005 Winter;25(1):43-51.

A new vision for distance learning and continuing medical education.

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IVIMEDS, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Increasing demands on continuing medical education (CME) are taking place at a time of significant developments in educational thinking and new learning technologies. Such developments allow today's CME providers to better meet the CRISIS criteria for effective continuing education: convenience, relevance, individualization, self-assessment, independent learning, and a systematic approach. The International Virtual Medical School (IVIMEDS) provides a case study that illustrates how rapid growth of the Internet and e-learning can alter undergraduate education and has the potential to alter the nature of CME. Key components are a bank of reusable learning objects, a virtual practice with virtual patients, a learning-outcomes framework, and self-assessment instruments. Learning is facilitated by a curriculum map, guided-learning resources, "ask-the-expert" opportunities, and collaborative or peer-to-peer learning. The educational philosophy is "just-for-you" learning (learning customized to the content, educational strategy, and distribution needs of the individual physician) and "just-in-time" learning (learning resources available to physicians when they are required). Implications of the new learning technologies are profound. E-learning provides a bridge between the cutting edge of education and training and outdated procedures embedded in institutions and professional organizations. There are important implications, too, for globalization in medical education, for multiprofessional education, and for the continuum of education from undergraduate to postgraduate and continuing education.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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