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Chest. 2009 Mar;135(3 Suppl):69S-75S. doi: 10.1378/chest.08-2522.

The future of continuing medical education: effectiveness of continuing medical education: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Educational Guidelines.

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Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Chicago, IL 60654, USA.


To ensure that continuing medical education (CME) continues to evolve so that it offers educational activities that are relevant to physicians in keeping with the definition of CME, CME providers must respond to and prepare for emerging expectations. This article puts into context the impact of the current emphasis on lifelong learning in medicine, particularly the requirement for maintenance of certification and licensure, on CME. Further, the effect of changing needs assessments and the impact of the integration of new technology in CME is included. Finally, a discussion of the emerging unique needs of CME providers and organizations related to these changes are addressed in the following four broad categories: CME as a value center, resources in support of CME, research to further advance the field, and leadership to guide the profession.

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