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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-19

Continuing medical education in Saudi Arabia: Experiences and perception of participants

1 College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad A Alkhazim
College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdualziz University for Health Sciences, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-600X.126059

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Introduction: Continuing medical education (CME) is important in developing competencies of medical practitioners with all the different influencing factors that have impact on their opinions and preferences. Despite the broad range of work on CME, very few studies have examined participants' opinions and attitudes towards CME. However, understanding them is critical in improving the practice of CME. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore attendees' perception of CME in Saudi Arabia regarding the different aspects of its practices and preferences. Materials and Methods: A survey composed of demographic questions, frequency of reading habits and 24 other related items was developed for CME participants. Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each of the 24 items on a 5-point Likert scale. In total, 601 surveys were analysed. Results: The response to each item in the questionnaire was compared on the basis of demographic variables. The results showed that healthcare practitioners acknowledged the importance of CME in improving their knowledge, attitudes, clinical and academic skills, as well as improve their clinical practice outcome. Differences of opinion were categorised by gender, profession, nationality and age. Conclusion: The study showed that opinions related to CME varied among different disciplines and nationalities. Moreover, it raised questions related to the system of sponsoring participants to attend CME events and its consideration for ethical issues. There is a need to embed the concept of lifelong learning into the education of basic health professions. In addition, the policies related to sponsoring and accrediting CME in Saudi Arabia should be improved. We recommend further research into this matter.

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