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Charting a Course for the 21st Century – NLM's Long Range Plan 2006-2016

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Lifelong Learning

Lifelong just-in-time professional learning will replace the combination of discipline-specific just-in-case education and continuing education programs of the 20th century. Learning resources will be on line, 24-7 and pulled forward on demand by the professional who needs them. Integrated models of learning will support all health professionals and include an ascending series of complexities in language so individuals and their families can use the basic level while sophisticated advanced specialists use the most complex layer.

Simulations will greatly lessen our reliance on trial and error on patients and will be used routinely to check the limits of individual ability. Immersion facilities and personalized simulations will help in experiencing the hard to imagine. Holographic immersion, tailored based on an individual’s PET scan and MRI, may allow visualizing individual patients with a breathtaking degree of accuracy. Because these resources are used to enhance entertainment and in advanced education, they will also be accessible over the network for use in K-12 education. Exposure during K-12 will prepare future consumers to be active participants in decisions about their care and prepare people coming into health education programs for more effective approaches to learning.