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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Continuing education in the health professions: a literature review pertinent to North America Nakamoto, June

Abstract

This survey of the literature provides a comprehensive and comparative report on continuing education in the four senior health professions, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, covering the period from 1960 to 1970. Findings disclose that while continuing education is gaining momentum in the health field, each of the professions reviewed in this report admits that it has been far from successful in its implementation. The problems facing the professions, although in differing measure, were found to be: 1) the lack of resources—funds, qualified adult educators, and clinical facilities; 2) the need for more and better adult education research; and 3) the limitation of program goals within the context of the rapidly changing health care system. Recent public pressure to make continuing education a condition for practice, coupled with accelerating technological and scientific advances, indicate that continuing education can no longer be relegated to a secondary place in professional education. Due to the scarcity of substantive research, specific recommendations were not possible. However, it was suggested that: 1) more effective methods of defining learning needs be developed and tested; 2) more stress be placed on clinically oriented programs and those with built in evaluation schemes; and 3) regional centers be established to facilitate the development of ongoing, interrelated programs on both a uniprofessional and interprofessional basis. (Detailed descriptions of more innovative programs and evaluation practices are included.)

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