The San Diego Academy of Family Physicians Post Graduate Symposium is a 3 day conference where family physicians have the opportunity to get some continuing medical education credit. Listening to a talk on electroconvulsive therapy for treating depression in pregnant women, for example, ears us 1 hour of credit. It feels a bit like being back in school again, which makes me realize how much I miss being a student.
The ever evolving nature of medicine, combined with the fact that one never actually learns everything one needs to know in order to be a competent physician in medical school and residency, necessitates that we are continually updating our knowledge and skills. And the process of learning from a lecturer who is competing for the best audience ratings vs the process of learning from busy clinicians who get good evaluations mostly by expecting you to teach yourself everything…it’s night and day. 2nd year of medical school is the last opportunity in the lifespan of a physician where he or she reaps the benefit of great teachers and high quality group learning activities and also has the time to pursue topics in depth during non structured hours. During 3rd year of medical and beyond our day becomes so filled with clinical activities that we never have time to learn anything! While I agree there’s no substitute for experience, the actual volume of knowledge I obtained during 3 years residency probably could’ve been more efficiently taught to me during 1 long summer.
I’m going to enjoy this while I can. It’s back to the old clinical meat grinder on Monday!