Examining Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine Practice as a lifelong learning process: opportunities and challenges to the nuclear medicine professional and beyond

Nucl Med Commun. 2016 Aug;37(8):785-91. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000000506.


This essay will explore the critical issues and challenges surrounding lifelong learning for professionals, initially exploring within the profession and organizational context of nuclear medicine practice. It will critically examine how the peer-review process called Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine Practice (QUANUM) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can be considered a lifelong learning opportunity to instill a culture of quality to improve patient care and elevate the status of the nuclear medicine profession and practice within the demands of social changes, policy, and globalization. This will be explored initially by providing contextual background to the identity of the IAEA as an organization responsible for nuclear medicine professionals, followed by the benefits that QUANUM can offer. Further key debates surrounding lifelong learning, such as compulsification of lifelong learning and impact on professional change, will then be weaved through the discussion using theoretical grounding through a qualitative review of the literature. Keeping in mind that there is very limited literature focusing on the implications of QUANUM as a lifelong learning process for nuclear medicine professionals, this essay uses select narratives and observations of QUANUM as a lifelong learning process from an auditor's perspective and will further provide a comparative perspective of QUANUM on the basis of other lifelong learning opportunities such as continuing professional development activities and observe parallelisms on its benefits and challenges that it will offer to other professionals in other medical speciality fields and in the teaching profession.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Audit / organization & administration*
  • Internationality
  • Management Audit / organization & administration*
  • Nuclear Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Peer Review, Health Care / methods
  • Peer Review, Health Care / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / organization & administration*