Doctors are the key link between you and your health, an integral ingredient in the continued well-being of our civilization. When you get right down to it, our doctors are the only thing standing between us and the end of the world as we know it. No, that's not as melodramatic as it might sound. Bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi outnumber us a few billion to one. They're everywhere. They're more adaptable. They're more ruthless. They don't understand that tipping the balance of nature isn't going to end the way they want it to.
They do all this to humanity way before chronic diseases like diabetes and the deterioration of age step in. Our doctors are our knights in shining armor, the first line of defense between us and the bad particles abounding on this earth - unseen particles of doom lurk everywhere and we can't fight them. New health nemesis are popping up everywhere in the world on a daily basis. That being the case, it is of the essence that our doctors be informed, armed and ready to do battle. The means to this crucial strategic plan is continuing medical education.
What is Continuing Medical Education Anyway?
Those in the field of medicine are intimately aware of the challenges and the critical need for continuing their medical education. If you do not know about continuing education, you better be darn sure that your doctor does.
When you are looking for a doctor to look after your health, you will probably not select the one right out of medical school. You want a doctor with experience treating all sorts of diseases and conditions - one who has forgotten more than the newcomer will know in 20 years of practice.
The field of medicine is changing every day. New drugs regularly come onto the market. New cutting edge technologies can ease ailments that 50 years ago no one even knew existed, let alone have a treatment for it. A doctor who graduated 30 or 40 years ago wouldn't know any of this. The lack of keeping up with his medical education may cause him to make some drastically wrong treatment decisions.
What Continuing Medical Education Will Do
A doctor must never stop learning. They cannot afford to. They never know when a discovery will come out of a research lab or a remote village somewhere in the world that could be the answer to a longer life with a better quality than ever before. This enhanced quality of daily life may apply to any or all of the patients who walk into their doctor's office every day. The ideal situation would be for doctors to have the time to read medical journals, attend conferences and symposiums to stay on top of changes.
Then there's reality. The one where most physicians work a ten to twelve hour day between patients and paperwork. Where they regularly miss meals and school events. Where what little free time they get is spent with their family, or, you know, sleeping. Despite their best intentions, continuing medical education can get pushed to the back burner.
That's why the AMA requires physicians to complete a certain number of continuing medical education hours each year to maintain their license. That way, you know that your doctor has the tools they need to offer you and your family the treatment options you need to stay healthy, and physicians can sleep soundly knowing that they have the tools they need to stay ahead of the silent but deadly killers stalking our streets.