Current Practices and Existing Gaps of Continuing Medical Education among Resident Physicians in Abha City, Saudi Arabia

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 16;17(22):8483. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228483.


Background: Continuing medical education (CME) is an everlasting process throughout the physician's working life. It helps to deliver better services for the patients.

Objectives: To explore CME among resident physicians in Abha City; their current practices, their opinions, and barriers faced.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among resident physicians at the Ministry of Health hospitals in Abha City using a validated self-administered questionnaire. It included personal characteristics, current CME practices, satisfaction with CME, and barriers to attendance.

Results: The present study included 300 residents from 15 training specialties. Their reported CME activities during the previous year were lectures and seminars (79.7%) followed by conferences (43.7%), case presentations (39.7%), workshops (34.0%), group discussion (29/7%), and journal clubs (27.3%). Astonishingly enough, very few (8%) attended online electronic CME activities. There were significant differences in CME satisfaction scores by different training specialties. Regarding residents' perceptions of the effectiveness of different CME activities (conferences/symposia, workshops/courses, and interdepartmental activities) the results showed that workshops and courses were significantly the most effective method compared to the other two methods in retention of knowledge, improving attitudes, improving clinical skills, improving managerial skills, and in improving practice behaviors. Barriers reported were being busy, lack of interest, high cost, and lack of suitable providers.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that online learning be promoted as a CME format for trainees. There should be support of residents and clinicians through the provision of protected time for their CME activities outside their daily clinical commitments.

Keywords: Abha; Saudi Arabia; continuing medical education; resident physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Continuing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Medical, Continuing* / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians* / statistics & numerical data
  • Saudi Arabia