European GPs Push for Improved Quality
General practitioners in Europe, through the Union of European Medical Omnipractitioners/General Practitioners (UEMO), have promulgated a strong stand in favor of continuing professional development (CPD) as "an inevitable prerequisite for the maintenance and development" of quality in health services.
The UEMO paper states that "it is the responsibility of the individual general practitioner to make optimal use of resources (time, finance, etc.) which in the given national system are set aside for CPD." GPs should identify their personal needs and select learning activities accordingly. And professional organizations, the UEMO says, should "cooperate in securing and developing an effective framework" so this can take place.
UEMO warns that activities must be free of influence from "public authorities, insurance systems and the pharmaceutical industry". At the same time, GPs must be accountable, through external evaluation and audit "to ensure that unrecognized educational needs are identified".
Each GP, says UEMO, should be assured of time and money to participate in at least 50 hours of CPD annually. But agreeing with the UEMS, UEMO notes that "obligatory CME does not guarantee quality". (www.uemo.org)