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The Importance of Continuing Education

CU Medicine Today

A number of trends continue to make the quality of physician training at all levels even more important than ever. In 2012, it almost seems that we practice medicine in a large auditorium, where all sorts of interested and semi-interested parties watch and exercise their own agendas on what they think is “good medicine.” 

More and more layers of reporting, supervision, evaluation and compliance can easily divert attention from the patient. Famous personalities seem to love proclaiming the latest fad or miracle; TV docs routinely make their pronouncements about “what your doctor must do.” 

The Internet, also known as talk radio on a screen, contains some valuable material, but along with it come shams and craziness. Even the venerable Reader’s Digest over time has been transformed into a long series of health tips and checklists.

Many of us have felt the deep and routine intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship that can come from a clerk in Cleveland, a bureaucrat in Baltimore or a checklist in Chicago.

I only know a little bit about cars; I expect my mechanic to be the expert. I only know a little bit about the financial world; I expect my advisor to be the expert. I only know a little bit about construction; I expect my contractor to be the expert.

As delightful as it is to have well-informed, highly participating patients, they have every reason to require of us the highest level of expertise in the application of medicine to their situation. Especially in an environment filled with all these other voices, sources and agendas, we owe it to our patients to provide well-informed, confident, expert care.

An environment of continuing learning can be reawakened all around us—in renewed dedication and attention at CME events, in private study of our medical literature and cases, and in our active discussions with colleagues and others who are involved in the care of patients. 

We are all the widespread presence of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in our individual settings. We ARE willing to accept the responsibility and privilege of being uniquely qualified to figure out what is best for our patients.

I hope that the continuing growth and success of our institution is reflected not only in the magnificent facilities we occupy, but also in our daily growth as clinicians and servants. Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement, 

Gary Grasmick, MD
President of the CU Alumni Association