ABSTRACT: Integrating continuing medical education and faculty development into a single course: Effects on participants’ behavior.
Background: Integrating continuing medical education (CME) and faculty development (FD) into a single course can save time for physicians with teaching responsibilities. However, little is known about the effectiveness of integrated courses. Aim: To determine if there are differences in effectiveness between the CME and FD items as they were integrated in one course. Methods: Using the commitment-to-change model to assess plans for change from all participants and reported implementation of plans three month after courses. This model is suitable for stimulating and assessing effectiveness of CME. Unplanned changes were also recorded. Results: One hundred and twenty-seven respondents (of 182 participants) referred to 266 planned changes (out of 384), of which 168 (63%) were reported as implemented. Furthermore, 83 non-planned changes were indicated. In total 251 changes were reported and demonstrated that CME as well as FD items were effective. Conclusions: This study reveals that integrating CME and FD into a single course is highly effective in changing physicians’ medical practice as well as teaching practice. Although all course items were effective, participants choose more FD items than CME, so future research has to focus on which variables determine those choices.