Major health care reforms are being debated in the United States. While these debates address issues of access and cost, the systems-based problems of patient safety, continuous quality improvement, and an integrated approach to continuing professional development (CPD) remain traditional opportunities for the profession to directly improve health care and maintain professional accountability. Such challenges can be addressed independently of proposed reforms and offer an opportunity for the profession to build greater public trust. Given recent evidence questioning many assumptions behind individually focused CPD, and as physicians' work shifts into group and team contexts, it is an opportune time to address better CPD strategies within emerging group and team settings.
The first strategic change requires a focus on managing the development of the individual physician's educational growth into a systems-oriented approach based on better information and feedback within groups of practitioners and health care teams. Second, the renewal of the linked visions of professional collegiality and accountability with professional regulation needs to be seen as a collective responsibility across key organizations within the profession's normal accountability framework. Thus, the professional colleges, certifying boards, and regulatory authorities need to collaborate with the CDP community in refocusing their collective activities to promote the profession's traditional role of improving the quality of care and maintaining the public's trust in these times of intense policy debate.
Dr. Dauphinee is adjunct professor in medicine and member, Clinical Health Informatics Research Group, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is also senior scholar and institute senior member, Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Tamblyn is professor of medicine and of epidemiology, biostatistics, and occupational health and director, Clinical and Health Informatics Research Group, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Dr. Sylvia Cruess is professor of medicine and member, Center for Medical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Dr. Richard Cruess is professor of surgery and member, Center for Medical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Dauphinee, Clinical and Health Informatics Research Group, McGill University, 1140 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC H3A 1A3; telephone: (514) 934-1934, ext. 32990; e-mail: email@example.com.