Compulsory scheme counter-productive
The Medical Council plans to make continuing medical education for Hong Kong GPs mandatory by 2005.
I can understand the council wanting doctors to accept the principle of 'lifelong studying'. However, I do not think it is going about things the right way. Under its proposal doctors would have to 'attain 90 points - meaning about 90 hours of study - every three years' (South China Morning Post, August 2).
The council is ignoring the feelings of GPs and has overlooked the disadvantages of this study plan. Compulsory schemes like this are not effective. The language benchmark test for teachers is a case in point. These kinds of learning schemes need the co-operation of the participants in order to be successful.
Doctors should be able to construct their own study programme and schedules so they can keep up to date with the latest medical information. They should be allowed to use their own initiative, not be forced to study.
This is what is really meant by a 'lifelong study' process.