Objectives: Continuing professional development (CPD) is a novel approach to increase professional knowledge and skills. The aim of this study is to explore participants' characteristics and to understand participants' views on two rapid review courses (RRCs) as part of CPD program, and to assess healthcare providers' views about the use of internet for accessing medical information. Methods: Data were collected from 150 participants who attended an RRC in Nephrology and Rheumatology as part of an ongoing CME program. Results: Participants' response rate was 92% and 84.4% in Nephrology and Rheumatology RRCs, respectively. Participants' Mean Age±SD were 39±2.1 and 41±2.1 years in the Nephrology and Rheumatology courses, respectively. Demographic variables, i.e., age, gender, and specialization showed a significant (p<0.01) impact on the learning objectives of the program. Further, participants reported that the course material had a significant (p<0.02) impact on their knowledge. Finding new medical information was the primary motive to search the internet among all participants. About half of the subjects reported knowledge of their preferred medical education sites and had access at their clinical setup. Barriers to internet use included lack of specific information, difficulty to download contents, and excessive material. Professional association websites, online journals, and CME programs were the most frequently searched sources of information. Most of the subjects reported significant (p<0.02) barriers to find medical resources on the internet and to adequately utilize the currently available medical search engines available in the healthcare system. Conclusion: A discipline specific and integrated CPD program may have provided dual benefit such as accredited CME hours and a significant change in the participants' knowledge. There is a need to increase Internet accessibility and capacity in the current healthcare facilities. Future CPD studies should include measuring participants' knowledge and skills "pre and post" course delivery, and a detailed evaluation of the course program.
- Medical education
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