Translating health professional education research evidence into effective continuous professional development

Ruth M Sladek, Sue McAllister and Kieran M Walsh
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.12111
Published online: 18 February 2019

Biases and assumptions often arise from past experiences and, when unquestioned, can negatively influence the development of effective educational strategies

Knowledge is frequently considered as the panacea for all ills, and its acquisition is often proposed as the solution for ensuring we deliver the best quality health care. For example, training and continuing professional development (CPD) have been proposed as the first steps for medical colleges to address some troubling variations in health care practice in Australia.1 However, while proposing educational strategies to address health outcomes is logical, appropriate and defensible, it is well established that “knowing” something is quite different from “doing” something.2 Nevertheless, CPD curricula are frequently limited to “knowing”.3 While knowledge is a key prerequisite to transforming practice, how do we maximise CPD effectiveness as a strategy to improve care? And is changing individual practice through education all that is needed to change health practices and outcomes?4

  • Ruth M Sladek1
  • Sue McAllister2
  • Kieran M Walsh3

  • 1 Prideaux Centre for Research in Health Professions Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 BMJ Learning, London, UK

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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