IN THIS ERA of an explosion of medical knowledge and its rapid and diverse dissemination, continuing medical education (CME) becomes an absolute necessity. Techniques, medications, and approaches to problems change with regularity. Moore's Law, which notes that the computing power of silicon chips will double every 18 to 24 months, is but one example of how rapidly technical knowledge is moving.
Further, it is apparent that most physicians obtain most of their CME from peer-reviewed journals. However, to meet the requirements of state licensing boards and now the recertification organizations, most practitioners leave their practices for varying periods, pay substantial fees and travel expenses, and return with certificates but often little in the way of positive input into their patient care responsibilities. Even this exercise is becoming more difficult, because the discretionary time of physicians is more limited by the demands of documentation imposed by health care organizations.