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Individualized Learning Plans: Basics and Beyond

  • Su-Ting T. Li
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Su-Ting T. Li, MD, MPH, 2516 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, California 95817.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, Calif (Dr Li); and Department of Pediatrics, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio (Dr Burke)
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  • Ann E. Burke
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, Calif (Dr Li); and Department of Pediatrics, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio (Dr Burke)
    Search for articles by this author
      Self-directed, lifelong learning is an important tenet of medical professionalism because it is integral to maintaining professional competency.
      ABIM Foundation. American Board of Internal Medicine; ACP-ASIM Foundation. American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine; European Federation of Internal Medicine. Medical professionalism in the new millennium: a physician charter.
      Medical Professionalism Project. Medical professionalism in the new millennium: a physicians’ charter.
      • Fallat M.E.
      • Glover J.
      Professionalism in pediatrics: statement of principles.
      Although patients may assume that physicians with more clinical experience provide better patient care, the relationship between clinical experience and quality of care is not as straightforward as it may seem. Recent graduates may continue to improve their patient care in the first few years of practice as they garner additional clinical experience. However, compared with physicians in practice fewer than 10 years, physicians who have been in practice longer (more than 20 years) have declining knowledge of current medical evidence and practice guidelines and provide lower quality of care to their patients.
      • Choudhry N.K.
      • Fletcher R.H.
      • Soumerai S.B.
      Systematic review: the relationship between clinical experience and quality of health care.
      Continued lifelong learning could prevent the deterioration of current medical knowledge and the decline in quality of care seen over time. In recognition of this concern, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education,

      Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Functions and Structure of a Medical School: Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the M.D. Degree. June 2010; Available at: http://www.lcme.org/functions2010jun.pdf; Accessed August 23, 2010.

      the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME),
      • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
      Common program requirements, effective July 1, 2007.
      and the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification
      • Miller S.H.
      American Board of Medical Specialties and repositioning for excellence in lifelong learning: maintenance of certification.
      all identify lifelong learning as essential to the continuum of medical education.
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