Translating learning into practice: lessons from the practice-based small group learning program.
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UNLABELLED: PROBLEM ADDRESSED The need for effective and accessible educational approaches by which family physicians can maintain practice competence in the face of an overwhelming amount of medical information. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: The practice-based small group (PBSG) learning program encourages practice changes through a process of small-group peer discussion-identifying practice gaps and reviewing clinical approaches in light of evidence. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The PBSG uses an interactive educational approach to continuing professional development. In small, self-formed groups within their local communities, family physicians discuss clinical topics using prepared modules that provide sample patient cases and accompanying information that distils the best evidence. Participants are guided by peer facilitators to reflect on the discussion and commit to appropriate practice changes. CONCLUSION: The PBSG has evolved over the past 15 years in response to feedback from members and reflections of the developers. The success of the program is evidenced in effect on clinical practice, a large and increasing number of members, and the growth of interest internationally.