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RE: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the burn] posted 03/03/2004
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---Please let this topic DIE. 

And let those who thinks CCIE lab is piece of cake, experience it at there
own time.

Jin Jung 
Network Infrastructure Engineer, Sr. CCIE#12368
Lockheed Martin Enterprise Information Systems supporting, 

-----Original Message-----
From: nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Howard C. Berkowitz
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 8:41 AM
To: ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Your Next Step is CCIE [Cisco feeling the burn]

At 8:15 AM -0500 3/3/04, Peter van Oene wrote:
>>In the grand scheme of things no matter what you look at, you have 
>>some good and some bad.  There are bad doctors out there, although I 
>>don't see any decrease in the need for their services all in all.  
>>Economics will make the bad ones go away (or move into management?  :)  
>>)  I can't say that I haven't run into CCIEs that are less than bright 
>>out in the field. But this is not a new problem.  You'll also notice 
>>that about 10% of R&S CCIE's are no longer certified.  Perhaps these 
>>are the culling of those who can't figure out how to recertify.
>Some of us who have aged out our certs are sick of Cisco extorting
>money from us with 300 buck sylvan exams.  Maybe we're culled, or 
>maybe we just don't care.

Knowing you, Peter, it's not a matter of your not caring about your 
profession.  In what you do, having achieved a certification is a 
point of reference in your career.  More significant is what you've 
accomplished, often well beyond the level of the CCIE lab, after 
receiving that certification.

Keeping a Cisco certification renewed is obviously of importance to 
resellers, trainers, etc., that need an endorsment by Cisco, or where 
having a current certification brings value to one's employer or 
market value to firms that need people with current certifications.

Since good and bad doctors have been mentioned, let me comment on how 
continuing education and certification are handled in that 
profession.  In the first year of medical school, a student will take 
core courses such as gross anatomy, biochemistry and physiology.  In 
the second year, they will take more clinically oriented science 
courses such as pharmacology and pathologic diagnosis.  In the third 
and fourth years, they rotate through lectures and clinical 
observations in different specialties, and then, in internship, 
residency and fellowship, get increasingly advanced supervised 

At the end of medical school in the US, one takes the standardized 
tests of the American Board of Medical Examiners, checking on basic 
knowledge. In subsequent graduate medical education, the resident is 
constantly evaluated by faculty.

Eventually (the details depend on the rules of the specialty), the 
candidate demonstrates they have completed a specialty-board-approved 
training program, may take additional exams both oral and written, 
and possibly have to do "essay" type case presentations.  Again 
depending on the specific specialty, they will then be Board-Eligible 
or Board-Certified.  Full certification may require a certain number 
of years of practice after eligibility, and perhaps additional 
presentations or examinations.  Of course, in parallel to their 
specialty review, they also will be monitored constantly by 
hospitals, insurance companies, etc.

But there is a concept of continuing medical education. I'm quite 
familiar with this, as I find it useful to take CME as a part of 
staying abreast of the requirements for medical networks and 
computing.  CME is not always scored; it may be attendance only, and 
jurisdictions and specialties vary as to whether, and how much, CME 
they require.

What I find to be a really significant difference between CME and 
Cisco recertification, however, is CME assumes the basics. It's not 
just taking the latest CCIE written, which may contain basic skills 
for a CCIE. It concentrates on new information. Here's a list of 
recent CME topics from one site I visit regularly; note none of them 
are about basic anatomy, IP addressing, basic physiology, or show ip 

CME Antiretroviral Drug Sequencing
Learn about sequencing of NRTI/NtRTIs for the treatment of patients with
CME Management of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
Examine the effects of cholinesterase inhibitors on the symptom 
domains of AD and related dementias.
CME Opioid Analgesia: Practical Treatment of the Patient With Chronic Pain
Review theories of chronic pain management, with particular emphasis 
on practical management of medication in typical patients, using the 
case-study approach.
CME Stabilizing Depression in Bipolar Disorder
Understand the challenges of diagnosing and treating bipolar 
depression, and review the data on mood stabilizers, including 
lamotrigine, in its management.
CME Infectious Complications in Neutropenic Cancer Patients
Discuss improvements in the mortality rate of immunocompromised 
patients, the changing profiles of pathogens, and fungal infections 
in cancer patients.
CME Therapeutic Challenges in the Treatment of Cardiovascular 
Diseases: Issues and Answers
Review results from ongoing and recently completed trials using dual 
antiplatelet therapy in patients with atherothrombotic disease and 
discuss their potential implications for clinical practice.
CME Diabetes and Macrovascular Disease: Risk Factor Management
Recognize the risk factors in patients with diabetes that are linked 
to vascular dysfunction and how they can be successfully managed.
CME A New Dawn in the Treatment of Dyslipidemia: Cardiovascular Risk 
Reduction Through Emerging Science and Proven Clinical Results
Review the clinical trials on current and novel therapies that 
emphasize the importance of intensifying lipid-lowering treatment to 
improve outcomes.

Does everyone see the difference between retaking a CCIE Written as 
opposed, say, to taking brief (most of these take a few hours), 
highly focused education on new networking topics, or the latest 
thinking on old ones?  Does everyone see how the primary focus of 
these CME examples is teaching, although they contain exams, while 
recertification is more focused on the process of exam-taking?

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