British GPs already forced to study
The proposed continuous training system is similar to an appraisal system introduced in Britain for hospital doctors in the public sector in April last year.
That system has just been extended to general practitioners who carry out primary care in the public domain.
Britain's General Medical Council, a statutory body that regulates the quality of the medical profession, plans to introduce a mandatory revalidation system in 2005 for all doctors.
Under the new system, doctors who do not update medical knowledge may lose registration. The training cycle will run over five years. A three-year cycle is proposed for Hong Kong.
In the United States, requirements for registration vary, with some states requiring education credits each year to ensure knowledge and skills remain up to date.
In Victoria, Australia, doctors undergo continuing education on a voluntary basis. The Medical Practitioners' Board of Victoria is working with the profession to link medical re-registration with demonstration of participation in continuing education.