Records of Continuing Medical Education Programs
Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
During the 1970s, there was an emphasis on continuing medical education (CME) for practicing licensed medical doctors. Lifetime licenses to practice medicine were being replaced by limited time licenses that required renewal. In order to renew their state issued medical licenses, doctors were required to obtain continuing education credits. Often, they would need as much as 150 credits to be considered for relicensing. Credits could be gained by attending lectures, courses, or symposiums.
However, unlike university offered courses, continuing medical education often lacks a dedicated faculty. This lack of faculty influenced the creation of a new trend in CME, self-testing. Most self-testing CME programs were developed by medical societies around the country. They involved a self-learning component and a self-testing component. Materials would be sent or provided to doctors which they would study on their own time. They would then complete a multiple-choice test. Their results would indicate where they would require more testing and their proficiency on certain topics.
In 1974, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and The National Board of Medical Examiners began to develop a program which expanded these self-learning style programs into the Practice Related Educational Program for Physicians in Primary Care (PREP). The College of Physicians of Philadelphia's program involved an additional profiling component. To generate a profile of their practice, physicians would record the symptoms and ailments of a pool of their patients. These diseases and symptoms would then be analyzed to give an overview of the most common conditions, patient ages, and general symptoms presented in a particular practice. This profile was then returned to the doctor who consulted it when deciding which topics to pursue.
PREP also included a self-testing and self-learning component. After receiving their profile and picking choosing their topic areas, participants would take a pretest. This test would indicate which areas of their chosen topic were weakest. Articles, videos, and other learning materials were associated with each particular question or section of the test. The pretest would allow participants to pinpoint weaknesses and study only materials they were unfamiliar with. After consulting the recommended materials, they would take a post test and complete an evaluation. This both demonstrated their ability to learn, but also their attitude towards continuing medical education in general, the specific program, and the materials. The program continued until 1980.
Because the PREP program proved to be so popular, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia began to develop an additional CME program, in 1976, just for cardiovascular disease. It was called the Practice Related Educational Program in Cardiovascular Disease for Physicians in Primary Care or PREP CV. PREP CV was funded by the Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation and provided a more in-depth option for those wishing to study cardiovascular health than PREP. In 1981, funding ran out and the program took no new applicants.
In addition to PREP, PREP CV, and various symposiums, lectures, and courses, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia also sponsored an Emergency Medicine training program. This program sought to offer emergency medicine professionals practical instruction in their field. Unlike the two previous programs which sent materials and tests to physicians, participants of the emergency medicine program would gather in Philadelphia for several days of instruction and lectures. This program ran until 1980.
The Records of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Continuing Education Programs date from 1973 to 1981 and consist of correspondence and records pertaining to continuing education programs, including the Basic Science Section, FOCUS, College Night, PREP, PREP CV, CME, Emergency Medicine, and other programs. Of note is the distance education model employed by PREP to allow all physicians the opportunity to participate in a continuing medical education program and the practice profiles included in the PREP participant folders which directed participant learning.
The collection is arranged into ten series: Programs, Correspondence, Basic Science Section, FOCUS, College Night, PREP, PREP CV, CME, Emergency Medicine, and Other Programs.
Series 1: Programs dates from 1974 to 1981 and consists of general information about the College's Continuing Medical Education programs, including meeting minutes from the Committee on Continuing Medical Education and correspondence with and newsletters from the American Medical Association. Of note are the surveys sent to hospitals during 1980 and 1981 about continuing medical education.
Series 2: Correspondence (1974-1980) consists of correspondence from John P. Hubbard, M.D., president of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Frank L. Bowler Ed.D., project director of the continuing education program, Albert J. Finestone, director of the continuing education program, and Edward McGehee, Professor of Family Medicine.
Series 3: Basic Science Section (1976-1980) was a program that covered various topics in the health sciences. Records include proposed topics and planning and records of individual programs on a variety of subjects. Records are composed of attendance lists, correspondence, evaluations, and in some cases notes and/or handouts. Topics include Nutrition in Today's Society, Clinical Immunology, Dietary Factors, and The Kidney.
Series 4: FOCUS (1979-1981) developed workshops and symposiums on various topic. Records cover evaluations, handouts and materials, registrations, correspondence, faculty information, and inquiries. Symposiums address Developing Humane Care for the Elderly, Maintaining Executive Health, Impact of Drugs and Alcohol, Sexuality in Adolescence, Promoting Well-Being of Adolescents, etc.
Series 5: College Night (1977-1981) records consist of yearly attendance lists and attendance broken into course topics.
Series 6: Practice Related Educational Program for Physicians in Primary Care (PREP) dates from 1974 to 1980 and contains participant records including pretests, posttests, evaluations, and correspondence, correspondence, feasibility studies, records pertaining to grant funding from Hew, course materials, and answer keys.
Series 7: Practice Related Educational Program in Cardiovascular Disease for Physicians in Primary Care (PREP CV) dates from 1976 to 1981 and begin with proposals to the Kynett Memorial Foundation, reports to the foundation, and committee meetings. Records also include correspondence, answer sheets, program analyses, and participant registration cards.
Series 8: CME (1974-1981) consists of committee meeting minutes and records, newsletters, CME travel and trips records, blank forms, and medical society records, including the Obstetrical Society of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Society.
Series 9: Emergency Medicine (1975-1981) program was a yearly course. The records include participants, correspondence, evaluations, handouts, and tests.
Series 10: Other Programs (1973-1981) consists of records about various symposiums and courses affiliated with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Proposals for Health University without Walls and Continuing Mental Health Education are included.
- Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Author
- Allison Shanafelter
- Finding Aid Date
- May 2018