Internet based Medical Education

A recent study showed that continuing medical education (CME) delivered via the internet was highly effective in educating physicians to make evidence-based decisions for their patients. The study by Linda Casebeer, PhD titled

To determine the effectiveness of 114 Internet CME activities, which included case-based, multimedia, and interactive text, case vignette-based surveys were administered to U.S.-practicing physicians immediately following participation, and to a representative control group of non-participants. Survey responses were then analyzed based on evidence presented in the content of CME activities. An effect size for each activity was calculated using Cohen's to determine the amount of difference between the two groups in the likelihood of making evidence-based clinical decisions.

Using this methodology, the study found that in a sample of 17, 142 U.S. physicians, of the more than 350, 000 physicians who participated in 114 activities, the average effect size was 0.82 (the number that shows if education has an overall effect, for those who attended the programs vs. those who didn’t).

These findings indicated an increased likelihood of 48% that physicians participating in online activities were making better clinical choices based on evidence. This is similar to the effect size that David Cook found in his Meta Analysis paper published in JAMA Internet Based Learning in the Health Professions which reviewed 201 programs.

As a result, the study concluded that physicians who participated in online CME activities continue to be more likely to make evidence-based clinical choices than non-participants in response to clinical case vignettes.

CME and the Internet

The number of hours of Internet-based enduring materials provided by Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME)-accredited providers increased dramatically from 16, 802 hours in 2002 to 57, 944 hours in 2008. This three-fold increase was accompanied by an even larger increase in the number of participants choosing Internet-based enduring materials; the number of physician participants increased from 305, 410 individuals in 2002 to 4, 365, 014, nearly a ten-fold increase.

Physician at Computer

Disparities In Access To Palliative Care  — Health Affairs
Postgraduate training opportunities for all disciplines involved in providing palliative care, such as graduate medical education slots, should be increased.

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