Lifelong Learning for Clinical Practice: How to Leverage Technology for Telebehavioral Health Care and Digital Continuing Medical Education

  • Donald M. HiltyEmail author
  • Carolyn Turvey
  • Tiffany Hwang
Psychiatry in the Digital Age (J Shore, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychiatry in the Digital Age


Purpose of Review

Psychiatric practice continues to evolve and play an important role in patients’ lives, the field of medicine, and health care delivery. Clinicians must learn a variety of clinical care systems and lifelong learning (LLL) is crucial to apply knowledge, develop skills, and adjust attitudes. Technology is rapidly becoming a key player—in delivery, lifelong learning, and education/training.

Recent Findings

The evidence base for telepsychiatry/telemental health via videoconferencing has been growing for three decades, but a greater array of technologies have emerged in the last decade (e.g., social media/networking, text, apps). Clinicians are combining telepsychiatry and these technologies frequently and they need to reflect on, learn more about, and develop skills for these technologies. The digital age has solidified the role of technology in continuing medical education and day-to-day practice.


Other fields of medicine are also adapting to the digital age, as are graduate and undergraduate medical education and many allied mental health organizations. In the future, there will be more online training, simulation, and/or interactive electronic examinations, perhaps on a monthly cycle rather than a quasi-annual or 10-year cycle of recertification.


Digital Technology Learning Telepsychiatry Lifelong Education 



The authors express gratitude to the American Psychiatric Association and Telepsychiatry Committee, American Telemedicine Association and Telemental Health Interest Group, and Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, Springer – Nature Publishing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Donald M. Hilty, Carolyn Turvey, and Tiffany Hwang declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald M. Hilty
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolyn Turvey
    • 2
  • Tiffany Hwang
    • 3
  1. 1.Mental Health and UC Davis Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesNorthern California VA Healthcare SystemSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Iowa and Iowa City VA Health CareIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.UCSD Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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