Why you should care about your Doctor’s Continuing Education

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Listen, graduate medical education is serious business. After completing medical school, passing boards, and finishing residency or other post-grad education requirements to start a medical career, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation to sit on one’s laurels and breathe a sigh of relief to “never have to take that class again.” Legally, medical providers are required to complete Continuing Education on a periodic basis, with a set number of hours and topics as outlined by their profession’s governing body and/or state and local ordinances. That said, it is incredibly easy to find mediocre “fluff” continuing education content which will meet the minimum requirements and provide approximately zero value. This can lead to Providers never really expanding their knowledge beyond what they learned in school.

This scenario brings to mind a dear friend of mine, an OR Nurse, sharing that there is a surgeon who has been practicing for over 30 years who still performs a specific surgery the way he learned it well over 30 years ago, even though significantly safer, faster, more effective, and longer lasting surgical techniques have been developed and are utilized daily by other surgeons in the same OR. This is not to say that every provider needs to be on the bleeding edge of every new medical discovery, but it is a gentle reminder that we Medical Providers need to ensure that we are staying up to date within our fields, and with other collaborative fields, to ensure that we are providing the safest and most effective options available to our patients.

As a Primary Care Provider, I take great care in selecting Continuing Education that will help me develop my professional skills as well as support the growth of my practice so that I can offer my patients customized integrative care for their health needs. This year, I’m focused on expanding my acupuncture technique & herbal medicine knowledge. So far, I’ve enrolled in (and/or completed) the following continuing education courses:

  • Classical Strategies for Effective Herbal Formulation – a 14-month certificate course taking a deep dive into herbal formulation, from classical formulas to individual ingredients, to help practitioners achieve a more nuanced understanding of custom formulation to treat conditions ranging from Common Cold to Rheumatoid Arthritis. This course is taught by renowned herbal expert Heiner Fruehauf and I am beyond thrilled to be learning from a living master. Even after one class, I’ve already taken away invaluable content that has re-shaped how I custom formulate herb prescriptions for my patients and even the nutrition recommendations I make (Food Is Medicine).
  • Body pain classes with Orthopedic Acupuncture expert Whitfield Reaves. These classes focused on quick and effective acupuncture, cupping, and electro-stim techniques to treat some of the most common orthopedic complaints I see in my office: Low Back Pain, Neck & Shoulder Pain (& Postural Issues – hello Tech Neck!), and Knee Pain & Instability.
  • Nourishing Every Cell: Kiiko Matsumoto Style Strategies for Gastrointestinal Issues – An incredible opportunity to learn (from another living legend) various palpation and acupuncture treatment techniques for GI ailments such as GERD, SIBO, Fatty Liver, Gallstones, Constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and even some unexpected topics such as Type 2 Diabetes, Autoimmune, and Rosacea.

These courses provided immediate value to me and my patients and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from these experts of their crafts. There is no better feeling than seeing a patient hop off the table feeling pain-free and beaming with gratitude.

So I encourage you, dear reader, to ask all of your medical providers what continuing education they’ve done recently or what upcoming continuing education they’re excited about. Are they just doing the bare minimum as required by their hospital system or medical group? Are they focused on which color trashbin to use or what pill they can prescribe from the class they took sponsored by that pharmaceutical rep? Or are they seeking out topics that they’re excited about and relevant to the care needs you have?

Remember, it is OK to change providers, it is ok to ask providers what their area of expertise or specialty is, it is ok to seek out a provider who has expertise in your condition and continues to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in managing and treating your condition. You have a say in your health care.

Want to learn more about how we can work together to treat your health concerns? Schedule a Complimentary Consultation or Book a Session now!

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