Lifelong learning in the 21st century and beyond

Radiographics. 2009 Mar-Apr;29(2):613-22. doi: 10.1148/rg.292085179.


Lifelong learning is now recognized by educators, governing bodies, accreditation organizations, certification boards, employers, third-party payers, and the general public as one of the most important competencies that people must possess. Promoting lifelong learning as continuous, collaborative, self-directed, active, broad in domain, everlasting, positive and fulfilling, and applicable to one's profession as well as all aspects of one's life has emerged as a major global educational challenge. Meeting this challenge will require changes in the way teachers teach and learners learn, as teachers take on a more facilitative role and learners take more responsibility for setting goals, identifying resources for learning, and reflecting on and evaluating their learning. For physicians, this will require less dependence on traditional educational venues, such as passive continuing medical education activities, and greater participation in self-assessment, peer assessment, evaluation of performance in practice, documentation of practice-based learning and improvement activities, and learning at the point of care. Radiologists in an academic setting are exposed to multiple opportunities for practicing lifelong learning, such as teaching others, participating in multidisciplinary conferences and journal clubs, and engaging in research. All radiologists can participate in self-audits and group audits of performance and become active participants in national radiology societies, where they can learn from each other. Participation in the American Board of Radiology's Maintenance of Certification program reflects a commitment to actively engage in lifelong learning and is one way of demonstrating to the general public a commitment to maintaining competence.

MeSH terms

  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Physicians / trends*
  • Radiology / education*
  • Radiology / trends*
  • United States