There are numerous examples of care gaps that could be reduced through enhanced knowledge exchange and practice collaboration between medical specialist physicians. In this paper, we report preliminary results on using speed-dating sessions (SDSs) to stimulate the development of continuing interdisciplinary education (CIDE) activities.
In 2007, a 35-minute SDS was carried out during a 2-hour faculty development workshop to provide continuing medical education (CME) directors of Quebec's 35 medical specialist associations with a formal opportunity to quickly share clinical issues and goals. A post-workshop survey was used to assess participants' satisfaction and whether they had met new colleagues, learned about interdisciplinary issues, and discovered opportunities for collaboration. CME accreditation files were audited to assess the occurrence of CIDE activities in the year prior and the 2 years that followed the workshop. CME directors were called to assess whether the development of these activities was directly attributable to their participation in the SDS.
CME directors of 26 specialist physician associations attended the faculty development workshop. The vast majority of survey respondents (n = 18/20) were satisfied with the SDS and believed that this method was a stimulating and efficient way to meet new colleagues, quickly share clinical issues and goals, learn about unexpected but important interdisciplinary issues, and identify opportunities for CIDE collaboration. Sixty percent (12/20) reported having identified at least 1 opportunity for collaboration that was worth pursuing in the near future, and 19% of attending CME directors (5/26) developed a CIDE activity within 2 years, as compared with none in the previous year and for the 9 nonparticipating associations.
Results suggest that SDSs enhanced networking, knowledge exchange, and collaboration in continuing education among CME providers who participated in a faculty development activity on CIDE.