Purpose - The aim of this paper is investigate the importance of lifelong learning in the area of medicine. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines changes in methods of learning and challenges to educators today. Findings - The paper finds that today there is a pressure for the formalized accounting of education with a few high profile cases of negligent medical care which have perhaps created the belief that recording learning for all may catch errant doctors in the future. It is suggested that learning risks becoming an exercise in meeting demands, but inspiring the desire to learn is also crucial. Originality/value - The paper provides a useful opinion on lifelong learning for the medical profession.