Continuing medical education, quality improvement, and organizational change: implications of recent theories for twenty-first-century CME

Med Teach. 2005 May;27(3):259-68. doi: 10.1080/01421590500046270.


Healthcare providers and systems are being asked to measure and improve the quality of care delivered to their patients. Additionally, the American Board of Medical Specialties now requires physicians to participate in systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement activities as part of maintenance of specialty board certification. These changing paradigms provide opportunities for continuing medical education to become more aligned with health system goals and help prepare clinicians to practice in this new environment. Organizational change and quality improvement principles have much in common with continuing medical education planning processes. Medical education can play a role in helping organizations improve. Continuing medical education must move beyond delivering content to individual clinicians towards becoming a facilitator of organizational improvement. Research is needed to determine the effect of integrating continuing medical education with organizational change approaches on professional competence, organizational processes and patient outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards*