ERIC Number: ED224404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Fiscal and Policy Implications of Mandatory Continuing Education in the Health Professions. A Report to the Continuing Education Committee of the Statewide Area Health Education Center System. Commission Report 82-27.
California State Postsecondary Education Commission, Sacramento.
Fiscal and policy implications of continuing education requirements in the health professions are considered, with particular reference to the case of California. For 14 professions, data are presented on the average number of hours of continuing education needed annually to meet the requirement, the costs to the practitioner, and the total annual cost in fees for each health science discipline. It is claimed that mandatory continuing education costs the state virtually nothing, either to deliver or to enforce through licensing agencies. Information is presented on the status of required continuing education among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for 16 professions, 9 in the health sciences, 2 in the social sciences, and 5 in nonhealth fields. Apparently, no 2 states agree on which of the 16 fields need continuing education requirements. It is concluded that: (1) government should encourage licensed health professionals to keep up systematically with developments in their fields; (2) for self-employed practitioners such as physicians and optometrists, continuing education tends to concentrate on developing greater depth or specialization, but for salaried practitioners such as nurses and pharmacists, it may concentrate on the development of breadth and flexibility; (3) neither the statutes nor implementing regulations for continuing education indicate what is expected of the professional learner; (4) no way exists to determine whether these educational activities are achieving any useful purpose; and (5) access to continuing education varies greatly depending on location and profession. It is suggested that these requirements place burdens on geographically isolated and low-income practitioners, are costly to both professionals and consumers, and cannot ensure professional competence. (SW)
Descriptors: Costs, Fees, Government Role, Health Personnel, Higher Education, Mandatory Continuing Education, Professional Continuing Education, Public Policy, State Licensing Boards, State Standards
California Postsecondary Education Commission, 1020 Twelfth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Area Health Education Center System, Fresno, CA.
Authoring Institution: California State Postsecondary Education Commission, Sacramento.