Best Practices / Research Oral Abstract

The Effects of CPD on Physician Performance (O041)

Elizabeth Wenghofer, PhD (Director and Associate Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University & Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury, Ontario Canada); Lorraine Carter, PhD (Director, Centre for Flexible Learning, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada); Kim Ferris, MIM, PhD (Candidate) (Director, Faculty of Continuing Professional Education, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada); Bernard Marlow, MD, CCFP, FCFP, FACME (Director of Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Professional Development, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada); Craig Campbell, MD, FRCPC (Director of Professional Affairs; Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada & Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada); William McCauley, MD, FRCPC, MHPE (Medical Officer, Quality Management Division, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Toronto, Ontario, Canada & Associate Professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada)


The purpose of our study was to investigate the relationship between participation in different types of CPD and physician performance on in-practice assessments.


We merged performance data from the peer assessment program of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) with the CPD program data from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) from the year prior to a physician’s assessment.

A multivariate logistic regression was used to determine if physicians who participated in the CFPC or RCPSC CPD programs were more or less likely to have “satisfactory” assessments vs. those that had not participated in CPD. A second logistic regression model examined if participating in group CPD activities, self-directed CPD and assessment related CPD activities were predictive of performance on peer assessment. Both models accounted for effects of covariates including: gender, age, certification (family physician vs. other specialty), northern practice setting, number of patient visits per week, number of hours worked per week and international medical graduate (IMG) status.


A total of 617 physicians were included in the study. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that physicians who participate in accredited CPD activities in the year prior to assessment were 2.45 times more likely to have a satisfactory assessment than those who did not participate in CPD (p=0.021). More specifically, those who participated in group CPD activities were more likely to do well on assessment than those that did not participate in group activities (p=0.016). Participating in self-directed learning CPD or assessment based CPD were not significant predictors in the model.


Our findings are encouraging and support that participating in the CPD programs of the CFPC and RCPSC are associated with good practice performance upon assessment.