Striving for the best: WONCA global standards for continuing professional development for family doctors
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While all physicians must continue to learn new knowledge through their careers, their post-training continuing professional development (CPD) has received less attention. Problems include lack of support for physicians, frequent deviations from best practices such as mandatory participation, focus on community need, and clear conflicts of interest amongst providers. Additionally, specialists from other disciplines catering to different patient populations often provide CPD for family doctors. The Working Party on Education of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) sought to develop global standards in CPD for family doctors. The standards were developed through an iterative process with reference to published best practices for effective CPD. Adapted for family doctors from the World Federation for Medical Education's CPD for Medical Doctors: WFME Global Standards for Quality Improvement', the WONCA CPD Standards for Family Doctors were approved by WONCA Council in November 2016. The objectives of the standards are to: (1) Provide a resource for family doctors and/or groups of family doctors to design and structure a program of CPD to reinforce lifelong learning; (2) Optimise current CPD systems such that, through more effective program design and delivery, family doctors are advancing in patient care and their discipline; (3) Offer a set of globally recognised standards developed through a family medicine perspective to provide feedback on existing CPD programs and systems and encourage international recognition of CPD activities. The WONCA Global CPD Standards should inspire best practices in family medicine CPD, assisting family doctors in providing excellent care.
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