In 2005, the Education Committee and the Health and Science Policy Committee of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) recognized the need to assess the ACCP medical education curriculum. During this assessment process, a proposal was made to evaluate the literature to determine what continuing medical education (CME) tools and techniques are most effective in improving our physician members' knowledge and skills. It quickly became clear that there was much more to be learned from this effort and that its potential impact could benefit not only the ACCP membership but also the medical education community as a whole. As a result, the ACCP Health and Science Policy and the Education committees developed collaboratively key literature search questions with a proposal that the search be conducted and synthesized by an independent evidence-based practice center (EPC) through an application process to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). AHRQ awarded the Johns Hopkins EPC the task of performing a systematic review of the literature to answer six key questions regarding the effectiveness of CME (see “Methods and Definitions of Terms” article in this supplement for a detailed listing of the questions).