Continuing medical education (CME) is a mainstay for ongoing learning by practicing physicians. Often considered the third and final phase of medical education, CME differs significantly from earlier phases of training. Unlike medical school and residency/fellowship, CME requires physicians to respond voluntarily to their educational needs; there is specified curriculum, and practice settings are all different. The essays in this volume tell the history and evolution of CME in the United States and Canada, but also look toward future issues and developments. Contributors from a diverse array of institutions explore CME's emergence from undergraduate medical education and its separate growth and development, key events and breakthroughs, lessons learned, conflicts, and predictions about the future in their area of expertise. Addressing critical issues, such as industry support for CME, the volume offers a vital tool for continuing medical education professionals, physicians, administrators, and all health care practitioners interested in the future of continuous education and quality patient care.
DENNIS K. WENTZ, M.D., is a retired gastroenterologist, and is the former Director, Division of Continuing Physician Professional Development, of the American Medical Association (1988-2004).