Stanford works to raise the CME bar

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Stanford's new Center for Medical Education Research and Innovation, initially tasked with exploring ways of delivering undergraduate and graduate medical education, could also help Stanford's CME program realize one of its goals.

“For the most part, the highest bar for CME has been, ‘Can people answer questions on a multiple choice test?'” said Dr. Clarence Braddock III, professor of medicine and director of the new center. “That's necessary but not sufficient to have an impact on practice.”

Braddock said the center aims ultimately to raise that bar.

Dr. Robert Jackler, who heads up the CME program, has been working with Stanford Hospital's quality department to see if newer teaching interventions,  which are funded in part by a $3-million, three-year grant given by Pfizer in 2009, have an impact on clinical performance.

“One thing the CME effort has not been able to achieve to date is put together a very rigorous research infrastructure to answer that question,” Braddock said. There is “a modest evaluation group in the CME center, and we've had discussions on how our research infrastructure will help them look at the impact of these newer approaches in CME.”

He added that while the new center, to be fully staffed with several doctoral-level research scientists by fall 2012, “is philosophically aligned” with what Jackler is doing on the CME side, it's not likely to have the same appeal as far as drawing industry support.
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