Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When Doctors Don’t Have All the Answers

By Dena Rifkin, MD

I recently ran into a colleague who was returning from an internal medicine review course. These expensive and elaborate affairs consist of a week or so of lectures, tips, and new techniques, usually taught by well-known academics. Many doctors take these courses before taking the medical board exam in their specialty, and some doctors repeat the course every few years, to keep up with new developments or prepare for recertification exams. To be “board-certified” in a specialty, doctors must take exams every 10 years, so I’ll be attending a course next week to review kidney diseases.

A key part of the course is problem-solving. Just like when the audience votes in “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” the 400 doctors in the room press buttons to answer multiple-choice questions. The number of people who give each answer is displayed on a big screen. Read More

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