VJC: Improving CPD Interventions and Strengthening the CPD Value Proposition by Developing Our Capacity for Doing Research

By Mila Kostic, CHCP, FACEHP, Column Editor and Host and Facilitator of SACME’s Virtual Journal Club

SACME’s Virtual Journal Club (VJC) was founded with a goal of helping support and further our capacity for scholarship in the field of continuing professional development in the healthcare. As we considered the diversity of academic experience, variety of backgrounds and professional roles in our field that shaped the needs and interests of our community, we decided to focus our approach less on the critique of the journal article, as is the traditional approach to academic journal clubs, and more on the creation of a series of transformational discussions around the value of available evidence to our practice.

Over the last ten years, SACME’s VJC has provided our members and a larger CPD community with an opportunity to learn, share and engage with colleagues in a participatory webinar format that allows learners to listen-in or contribute actively with comments and questions. I have enjoyed hosting the VJC and working with many leaders in our field and scholars from the larger medical education context to facilitate many interesting sessions and conversations.

As we have resumed live sessions of the VJC this month, we thought it was also fitting to reflect back and draw attention to some of the timeless topics of interest. I would like to thank our editor, Robert D’Antuono for the idea to go back in time. It is our collective hope that this new column in the CE News will serve as a way to revisit some of the sessions and authors from the VJC archives.

As I reviewed the 45 archived VJCs, I was reminded of many exciting and important sessions we shared over the last decade, of terrific authors and colleagues I had a pleasure of working with, and of how special our SACME community is. So many of you engaged actively and regularly contributed valuable questions and comments, we truly learned with and from each other.

It may come as no surprise to you that I decided to start our journey back to the future with a session delivered by Curtis Olson, PhD, FSACME, at the time, the Immediate Past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions and the Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The topic was Improving CPD Interventions and Strengthening the CPD Value Proposition by Developing Our Capacity for Doing Research. This session is as important to us today as it was back then. It was based on the chapter from the 2018 book Continuing professional development in medicine and health care: better education, better outcomes, titled Principles of effective research in continuing professional development in the health professions, he co-authored with Betsy Williams, PhD, MPH, FSACME.

This session presented the case for developing increased research capacity in CPD and explored ways in which CPD professionals, at all levels, could contribute to that goal. In his thoughtful and succinct manner, my dear friend presented his case that many of the skills and capacities we need to develop when engaging with rigor in outcomes evaluations are the same or similar to what is needed for conducting research in CPD. Both closely relate to improvements in clinical practice, yet we engage much more readily in one over the other.  And we then all launched into a rich discussion about the following questions:      

  • Why should CPD professionals at all levels learn more about educational research?
  • How can busy CPD professionals find ways to engage in research?
  • What steps can individual CPD professionals take to further develop their understanding of and ability to conduct educational research?

Revisiting this session brought me joy and I invite you to listen to the recorded session and access the referenced materials that, I am sure, will resonate with you as strongly today as they did back in September of 2018.

I look forward to the next issue when we will remember another relevant session from our SACME VJC archives.

Please access the recording here https://youtu.be/KkShbJORARQNOTE:  The speaker begins at position 4.51.  Slide the red dot at the bottom of the video to the right.   


Olson, C. A., & White Williams, B. (2018). Principles of effective research in continuing professional development in the health professions. In W. F. Rayburn, M. G. Turco, & D. A. Davis (Eds.), Continuing professional development in medicine and health care: better education, better outcomes (pp. 363-384). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer

Olson, C. A. (2012). Twenty predictions for the future of CPD: implications of the shift from the update model to improving clinical practice. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 32(3), 151-152


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