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There is no self respecting professional who can do without continuous professional development (CPD). All of us know more that we did 10 years ago but we should also be aware of the fact that, relative to the explosive increase of knowledge, we are also ignorant of much more than we were 10 years ago. Pathologists who try to escape the pressure of CPD run the risk of lagging behind, of using outdated classifications, of being unable to diagnose “hot new entities,” and of being confronted with revolting clinicians. Worse than that, the licensing boards might hunt them down and not renew their licence to practice. In urging CPD upon the pathology community, a positive supportive approach is bound to be easier to accept than uncomfortable pressure and the imposition of penalties.1,2 This might be the reason why some authorities have chosen the term continuous professional development rather than the more familiar “continuous medical education” (CME). A new euphemism that demands an explanation before one understands what it means is not an improvement, so I will stick to CME. This is justified by a search of published reports: a decent number of publications can be retrieved on CME but only few on CPD.3
The trend towards more and more strictly enforced CME is apparent in all European countries. Some are better organised than others but there is no “continental” country that has not instigated a CME enforcing system. It stands to reason that in a united Europe CME should be developed according to a consensus approach. This is clearly not (yet) the case. It is the purpose of this brief review to describe the current situation concerning CME in Europe, to analyse what is good and what is not so good about it, and to offer some …
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