LEFO - Legeforskningsinstituttet

Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession


Doctors´ learning habits: CME activities among Norwegian physicians over the last decade

Nylenna M, Aasland OG. BMC Medical Education 2007; 7:10.
13. september 2007

Article in English.

Abstract on Pubmed:
BACKGROUND: Coping with the increasing body of medical knowledge is a main challenge to all doctors. The aim of this study was to investigate self reported reading and learning habits among Norwegian doctors and their subjective ability to keep professionally updated. METHODS: A cross sectional survey among a randomised sample of Norwegian doctors was undertaken in 2004 (n = 1005, response rate 71%). A similar study with many identical questions was done in 1993 (n = 1041, response rate 71%) and a comparison of the results was made. RESULTS: Attending courses/congresses and reading medical literature were reported to be the most important sources of professional information in 2004, just like in 1993. Less time was spent on courses/congresses in 2004 than in 1993, and more time was spent on medical reading. The internet was regarded as useful for their professional life for three out of five, mostly among the younger and least among GPs.Two out of three doctors felt that they could obtain sufficient information for keeping updated in 2004, the same proportion as in 1993. A correlation was found between subjective coping with the information and a high level of continuing medical education (CME)-activities. The information copers had a higher level of job satisfaction than non-copers. CONCLUSION: Over the last decade Norwegian doctors spend less time on attending courses/congresses and more time on medical reading, while the level of self perceived coping with information has been unchanged. The changing pattern of professional updating may reflect a more general individualistic trend in society. The consistent finding of a correlation between reading and attending courses, subjective coping and job satisfaction gives good reasons for recommending a high level of CME-activities among doctors.
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