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This paper sets out the policy of the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes/ European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) for the implementation of continuing professional development (CPD) for specialist doctors in Europe. CPD is defined as the educative means of updating, developing and enhancing how doctors apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes required in their working lives. The UEMS therefore believes that CPD is essential for ensuring high standards of medical practice.
This paper represents the policy of UEMS on CPD as a form of Quality Improvement within healthcare; its policy on Quality Assurance is available separately and is being further developed. The paper is addressed to all who have an interest in this area: patients, doctors, medical associations, health service employers and fund-holders, CPD decisionmakers, national and European legislators. While these groups may start from different positions when considering the subject of CPD, the UEMS believes that all can be united by a common agenda. This consensus requires the implementation of a system based on:
- Defining the desired outcomes of CPD - both the maintenance of safe standards of practice, and encouraging the achievement of the highest quality standards;- Determining the processes required to achieve these outcomes, making CPD more readily available and making involvement in CPD more effective and verifiable;- Agreeing structures and funding sources - specific to each country`s healthcare structure that will support the implementation of CPD for all specialist doctors.
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