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On continuing education

As a health reporter, I’ve been following the changing story of physician continuing education reform very closely. I wrote this story exactly one year ago explaining the changes the American Board of Internal Medicine--the certifying board for all internists and associated specialists, including cardiologists--was making and tallying the dramatic initial responses physicians had to said changes. Nothing seems drastically different in 2015, with the exception of physician dissatisfaction across all specialties (not just internal medicine), coverage by mainstreatm media, and the creation of a new recertification board.

I’m currently working on a follow-up story summarizing where things stand now and including new perspectives, but one thing that has struck me is that no one is disagreeing with the concept of continuing education. Doctors need it. Lawyers need it. Even journalists need it.

Case in point, I am currently enrolled in NYU’s School of Professional Studies certificate program in journalism. The class I’m taking right now is called Blogging for Journalists and it was actually the impetus of me starting this blog (hi classmates!). Do I know a thing or two about blogging? Actually, yes. However, this class is providing me with the means to have another alternate form of expression, and when it comes to the changing practicalities of journalism and digital media, I’m finding that I have much to learn.

While my continuing education is by no means required, I think it is important for me to challenge myself. We all need to challenge ourselves, actually. For writers in the NYC area, I’d recommend checking out some of the classes at NYU SCPS, and for others, mediabistro has some intriguing options.

Because of our dynamic world, the issue of physician recertification is not going anywhere. It may calm down, but this is an issue that deeply affects the day-to-day lives of our nation’s healers and hence one can understand the passion that drives the need for reform. But the concept of lifelong learning is here to stay, and I suggest you embrace it.

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