Improving continuing medical education by enhancing interactivity: lessons from Iran
Introduction: Continuing Medical Education (CME) has been
considered as a lifelong commitment for doctors to provide the
optimal care for patients. Despite a long history of creating CME
programs, outcomes are far from ideal. The present qualitative
study aims to clarify the barriers affecting effectiveness of the CME
programs in Iran based on the experiences of general practitioners.
Methods: Sixteen general practitioners were recruited to
participate in in-depth interviews and field observations
concerning experiences with CME. The study was performed
using a qualitative content analysis method. The codes, categories
and themes were explored through an inductive process in which
the researchers moved from specific to general.
Results: The participants’ experiences identified a number
of barriers, particularly insufficient interaction with the
instructors; additional problems included the teachers’ use of
an undifferentiated approach; unreal and abstract CME; and
ignorance of the diverse reasons to participate in CME.
Conclusion: Based on the study results, there are multiple barriers to
effective implementation of CME in Iran. The key barriers include
insufficient interaction between the trainees and providers, which
must be considered by other stakeholders and program designers.
Such interactions would facilitate improved program design, invite
more specific tailoring of the education to the participants, allow for
more effective educational methods and set the stage for outcome
evaluation from the learners actually applying their new knowledge
in practice. Replication of these findings with another sample would
improve confidence in these recommendations, but these findings
are broadly consistent with findings in the educational literature on
improving the efficacy of CME.
Keywords: Continuing medical education; General practitioners; Qualitative study
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P ISSN: 2322-2220 E ISSN:2322-3561
Journal Office Address: Education Development Center, 3th floor, Sina Sadra Halls Complex, Neshat Ave., Shiraz, Iran.
Publisher: Shiraz University of Medical Sciences