May 202011

Continuing Medical Education: Can CME Save Lives? The Results of a Swedish, Evidence-Based Continuing Education Intervention

Continuing Medical Education: Dave Davis, MD, CCFP

Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC; and Family and Community Medicine, and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: David Davis, MD, CCFP, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2450 N St, NW, Washington, DC 20037,

In this issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, Kiessling andher colleagues1 describe a randomized controlled trial of acase-based continuing medical education (CME) intervention associated with decreased mortality in Swedish cardiac patients. At firstglance outdated (this study commenced in 1995 and observed itspatient population for 10 years), there is a currency—evenan urgency, considering the imperative of better patient care—tothe study. There is also reason embedded in its findings foroptimism about the effect a carefully planned and implementedmethodology on patient outcomes. The study allows many observationsabout evidence, physician practice, and the roles that an effectivecontinuing education presence can occupy in health care andits quality and reform efforts, arenas in which this presenceis often invisible, unconsidered, and neglected. These observationscan be couched in terms of several questions: What do we meanby CME? Does it work? How would we know if it does? Where doesit fit in the picture of health services, health care reform,and the implementation of best practice?

Continuing Medical Education

Annals of Family Medicine 9:198-200 (2011)
© 2011 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.
doi: 10.1370/afm.1256


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