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Academia and the Profession |

The Effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education in Changing the Behavior of Physicians Caring for Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Controlled Randomized Trial

CARL W. WHITE, M.D.; MARK A. ALBANESE, Ph.D.; DONALD D. BROWN, M.D.; and RICHARD M. CAPLAN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: by a grant HL23517 from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; the American Heart Association, Iowa Affiliate; and the Educational Development Fund, University of Iowa.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Carl W. White, M.D.; Cardiovascular Division, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine; Iowa City, IA 52240.


Iowa City, Iowa


© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(5):686-692. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-5-686
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A randomized controlled trial was done to assess the ability of continuing medical education to change physicians, knowledge and behavior in the care of patients with acute myocardial infarction. Patient care practices on eight objectives were audited 6 months before and after physicians completed a 2-hour educational program. Sixty-three physicians from eight randomly selected communities constituted the experimental group and 40 physicians from four similar communities served as controls. The average score for desired care practices over all objectives increased from 48.5% to 60% (p < 0.001). Three objectives showed significantly greater gains for physicians in the experimental group. The generalizability of these effects was also studied in two additional educational contexts: a multitopic and a unitopic university-based continuing medical education program. Similar significant changes in behavior resulted in both contexts. Significant overall increases in knowledge occurred and persisted for all groups. Continuing medical education can effect changes in physicians' knowledge and care practices that can persist for at least 6 months.

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