The Relationship Between Physician Participation in Continuing Professional Development Programs and Physician In-Practice Peer Assessments
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PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between physicians' performance, as evaluated through in-practice peer assessments, and their participation in continuing professional development (CPD). METHOD: The authors examined the predictive effects of participating in the CPD programs of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada one year before in-practice peer assessments conducted by the medical regulatory authority in Ontario, Canada, in 2008-2009. Two multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine whether physicians who reported participating in any CPD and group-based, assessment-based, and/or self-directed CPD activities were more or less likely to receive satisfactory assessments than physicians who had not. All models were adjusted for the effects of sex, age, specialty certification, practice location, number of patient visits per week, hours worked per week, and international medical graduate status. RESULTS: A total of 617 physicians were included in the study. Analysis revealed that physicians who reported participating in any CPD activities were significantly more likely (odds ratio [OR] = 2.5; P = .021) to have satisfactory assessments than those who had not. In addition, physicians participating in group-based CPD activities were more likely to have satisfactory assessments than those who did not (OR = 2.4; P = .016). CONCLUSIONS: There is encouraging evidence supporting a positive predictive association between participating in CPD and performance on in-practice peer assessments. The findings have potential implications for policies which require physicians to participate in programs of lifelong learning.
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