Logically, there are 3 rational reasons for continuing education:

  1. Offer a new service to better serve others
  2. Strengthen weaknesses/improve to better serve others
  3. Professionally grow to better serve others

Life has taught me that we don’t base the majority of decisions based on logic, so I need to toss those 3 reasons out the window. Although those 3 reasons sound intuitively accurate, how about the irrational side of continuing education?
We base our continuing education decisions on a memory of our clinical experiences. What do we tend to remember most? We remember the best, worst and peak moments of our clinical experiences. We can’t remember everything we do and don’t remember our average, normal performance. This means when we use our memory of our clinical experience, we aren’t doing justice to our full clinical experience and may be basing what we think we need via continuing education on some memorable moment.
Humans are social creatures. Information provided within our social network will influence our decisions.
I wonder if at times if there is at times a personal, underlying need that is part of the decision-making process when it comes to choosing continuing education. The opportunity to belong… the opportunity to recreate a self-identity… the opportunity to set oneself apart from the masses and feel elite…
When the irrational aspect  of choosing continuing education dominates the decision-making process, we may be highlighting our professional selfishness. When we focus on the irrational aspect, we lose the real reason for continuing education: improving our ability to serve others. When it comes to serving others, I’d like to think effective and efficient would be 2 important qualities of service.
What thoughts do you have about continuing education? Why do you choose to do continuing education? How do you choose from a variety of options?