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Can Humor and Continuing Medical Education Coexist?

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Lawrence Sherman, FACME, CCMEP, President and CEO of The Physicians Academy for Clinical and Management Excellence, talks about research he conducted on the use of humor in physician continuing medical education.

Aired LIVE on: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 2 PM

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Background

Continuing Medical Education (CME) is a serious business. In 2007 -- the latest year for which data are available -- a total of $2.54 Billion was spent on accredited CME courses in the US. $1.2 Billion of that was paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.

These days the drug industry does not ask what the dollar retirn on investment is for their sponsored CME programs. The more relevant question is What is the ROE or Return on Education. That is, are physicians learning anything?

There are various techniques that can be employed to improve learning outcomes of CME programs. Humor is one of them. According to Lawrence Sherman, humor is often used in CME programs but not frequently studied as to whether it positively or negatively affects learining outcomes.

Research in other areas of adult education, however, has shown that incorporating humor into the learning experience increases learner attention and involvement, has a positive effect upon learning retention, creates a comfortable social environment, gets discussions started faster, an encourages response in Q&A sessions.

Sherman will discuss his research, which started with the hypothesis that participants in humorous CME activities will have greater or at least the same level of knowledge, attitudes, and skills compared to participants in serious activities.

Questions/Topics To Be Discussed

  • What got you interested in inserting humor into CME?
  • Please tell us about your research methodlogy
  • Did the results support your hypothesis? Please summarize the results.
  • What's next?


Guest Bio

Lawrence Sherman Lawrence Sherman is currently President and CEO of The Physicians Academy for Clinical and Management Excellence, an ACCME-accredited provider. The Physicians Academy designs, develops and implements strategic continuing medical education initiatives globally that are based on comprehensive needs assessments, utilize methodologies designed to help learners improve patient outcomes, and that are evaluated using a variety of outcomes measures. Physicians Academy collaborates with other accredited and non-accredited providers, content delivery experts, and academic institutions to insure that the educational activities developed are of the highest quality and reach the largest possible audience.

Having once been a stand-up comedian in New York, Sherman's lectures and presentations tend to combine humor, compelling content, and audience involvement.


Additional Resources

  • TBD

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