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Continuing education for general practice and the role of the pharmaceutical industry

Hayes, T.M., Allery, L.A. ORCID:, Harding, K.G. and Owen, P.A. 1990. Continuing education for general practice and the role of the pharmaceutical industry. British Journal of General Practice 40 (341) , pp. 510-512.

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A survey of the involvement in and attitudes towards continuing medical education of 101 general practitioners achieved a 95% response rate. Ninety per cent of the 96 doctors worked in practices which held meetings the content of which was organized by representatives of pharmaceutical companies but only 46% worked in practices which organized their own educational meetings. Seventy six per cent attended meetings away from their practice which were organized by drug companies and 75% had attended at some time continuing medical education activities organized by a local postgraduate centre. The promotional aspects of the drug company organized meetings were disliked by a majority of respondents (58%); more of the trainers (62%) and more of those who had entered general practice within the last seven years (71%) disliked this aspect. Nonetheless the educational content of both meetings held in the practice and those held elsewhere was the aspect most liked by over half of the respondents (59% and 53% respectively). Only 16% of all respondents thought that visits by representatives from pharmaceutical companies were educationally valuable and 37% thought that educational events organized by these companies were of value. Surprisingly 60% of those who worked in practices which held meetings organized by drug company representatives thought them to be of little or no educational value. There is clearly a need for practice based continuing medical education but the current level of dependence on drug companies for organizing these meetings must be questioned. Alternative strategies for the provision of independent non-sponsored educational activities should be sought.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN: 0960-1643
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:33

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