In STANDARD OF CARE: What Standard, Who Cares?, oncology expert witness Dr. Ronald Citron writes:
A hundred years ago, one man could master the cumulative medical knowledge of all humanity. Today, one man could spend a lifetime reading the new findings published in a single year. We doctors learn it ‘all’ in medical school. But, of course, that is not enough. We must keep up with the continuing flow of new data. How do practicing physicians manage the torrential onslaught of new information inherent in the modern age? How do they find and learn the information? How do they integrate new findings into their daily activity? How often does this happen? What mechanisms for learning are there?
Medicine mandates education for doctors be they Chaired Professors at a University or generalists. It is the responsibility of every physician to log a required number of hours of education per year.
These Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements supposedly define medical practice in the digital age. We mandate post-graduate education. There are over 750 CME sites on the Web. CME can be any approved meeting, symposium, tumor board, educational cruise or vacation, medical staff lectures and iCME: from the Internet. However, the subject of the lecture may be only relevant to a small percentage of the assembled doctors – yet they all qualify for CME.
The majority of physicians derive their CME credits from the Friday noon staff meeting and lecture at the hospital.
Medical Specialties, such as Medical Oncology, have their own meetings, journals and network. Oncologists also have Clinical Practice Guidelines with detailed schemes for treatment of just about every cancer at every stage.