Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

William H. Young, III, Ed.D

Committee Member

Bill Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rosemary Closson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Eison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Valerie J. Janesick, Ph.D.


adult education, continuing professional development, commercial support, performance improvement, accreditation


This study describes and explains the perspectives of selected experts in continuing medical education (CME) and provides a glimpse at their lived experience. The theoretical frameworks are inclusive of constructivism and social constructivism reflecting the learning that takes place in medicine and that which occurs in the interview process. The voice of the researcher is heard through her professional role as a continuing medical education provider.

The major elements of CME are identified as the role of accreditation and physician involvement in the design and delivery of CME; the primary influences as funding, physician involvement and accreditation; the significant issue is the expertise of CME providers; the future of CME is to be molded by the funding of CME, its providers and technology in continuing education venues. Performance improvement continuing medical education will continue to be the gold standard of accredited organizations.

Implications for practice are many as the role of the CME provider changes to meet the expectations of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Institute of Medicine and organizations such as the American Association of Medical Colleges and American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Future research studies could include the following: interviewing experts in similar work environments may provide more focused findings that would assist that particular segment of the profession and their respective institutions; a comparison of local and national providers may shed light on how similar or disparate they are in the design, delivery, measurement, and funding of CME; a prospective longitudinal study looking at the implementation and outcomes of the IOM initiative for conflict of interest in medicine, the IOM initiative for the redesign of continuing education in the health professions or interdisciplinary lifelong learning in the health professions as proposed by the AAMC and AACN; investigate the proposed Continuing Professional Development Institute in five to seven years to determine if it achieved the desired design and function, and finally, repeating this study with experts from the same categories in about ten years should reveal significant changes in continuing medical education as compared to the findings presented in the current study.