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Demand for continuing medical education programs on cancer care among primary care physicians in North Carolina



Demand for continuing medical education programs on cancer care among primary care physicians in North Carolina



North Carolina Medical Journal 65(3): 130-135



Primary care physicians have a central role in cancer prevention and control services, yet relatively little attention has been given to their needs for continuing medical education (CME) that clarify or update screening guidelines, enhance recognition of signs or symptoms of cancer, and address ongoing health issues in patients treated for cancer (e.g., pain control lymphedema, tertiary prevention). A random sample of 600 primary care physicians practicing in urban and rural locations in North Carolina was selected to assess past cancer-related CME sessions, and demand for current cancer education topics. Of 539 eligible, 231 surveys were returned (43%). Approximately 37% of respondents had attended no cancer-related CME in the last two years. Highest interest for cancer CME topics was found for screening for breast and skin cancers, general update diagnostic skills, pain management and patient/family support, side effects from treatment, lymphedema management and lymphedema diagnosis, genetic susceptibility diet and smoking cessation. Interest levels by CME topic did not vary by urban/rural practice settings. There is low access but high demand for cancer-related CME topics among primary care physicians. Strategies are needed to fill this need and to assess impact.

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Accession: 048728995

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PMID: 15335004


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