Does clinical experience make up for failure to keep up to date?

Norman, Geoffrey R.; Eva, Kevin W.
May 2005
ACP Journal Club;May/Jun2005, Vol. 142 Issue 3, pA8
Academic Journal
This article states that the practice of medicine, like many other areas of human endeavor, requires considerable "hands-on" experience to achieve mastery. Most physicians, when asked, indicate that they did not really feel competent for several years after they entered practice. This tallies with estimates from other domains, which suggest that 10 years or 10 000 hours are required to become a virtuoso. Researchers claim to have identified several studies where increasing years in practice is associated with increased mortality. But on closer scrutiny, the differences, when present, are small. The paper states that, in the best study of outcome, every year since graduation resulted in an increase of 0.5% mortality in the management of post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients.


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