julio 04, 2006

The continuing medical education needs of anaesthetists

The continuing medical education needs of anaesthetists
GJ Baylon and F Chung
Department of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto, Ontario.
Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, Vol 39, 643-648, Copyright © 1992 by Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society

Learning needs assessment is the term applied to the process of identifying or diagnosing a learner's educational needs. It is the foundation of a systematic continuing medical education (CME) programme. Needs assessment has been identified as the most pressing problem of medical education directors in North America. Furthermore, the CME learning needs, interests or motivations of anaesthetists have never been studied. The amount of time and effort required for needs assessment is probably a major deterrent to this activity. The investigators adopted simple and straightforward means of assessing the "perceived learning needs" and topic interests of anaesthetists. Questionnaires were sent by mail to anaesthetists practicing in teaching and non-teaching hospitals in the Toronto area. The questionnaire presented a list of CME content areas. The respondents were asked to indicate on scale of 1 to 10 their Current Expertise, Ideal-Desired Expertise, and Interest-Motivation levels for each content area. Need Score for each content area was calculated by taking the difference between Ideal and Current Expertise responses. A total of 101/305 anaesthetists (29%) responded to the survey. Most of the respondents had been in anaesthesia practice for less than ten years. Regional nerve block, acute pain control, and medicolegal considerations received high overall ranks in both the need and interest categories. Paediatric anaesthesia, anaesthesia for trauma surgery and thoracic anaesthesia had top ranks among the subspecialty fields. Regional anaesthesia techniques received higher need and interest ranks than intravenous and inhalational techniques. The learning needs of anaesthetists of a large urban centre have been identified, and this information is useful to CME planners.