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CME

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Introduction

The medical industries contain a continuous education process as research worldwide introduces trends in treatment and surgical practices. The Continuing Medical Education (CME) is a competent form of guidance and source of in-depth information that allows medical professionals to gather knowledge about the latest knowledge in treatment processes. This form of education can be provided by accredited CME Providers through audiovisual demonstration, live events, medical conferences, published medical journals, video conferencing, and others. CME is precisely designed by a panel of veteran doctors and research scholars from the relevant field of treatment.

Since the initiation of medical treatment, CME has remained an eminent and reliable source of information for health-care providers by introducing advanced treatment, care and surgical procedures, which help them progress in the highly volatile health-care industry. Independent of the field specialization and acceptability by the experts, CME is more or less the most widely assorted means for education even the most experienced doctors from various disciplines worldwide.

Why is CME Important?

Several medical universities and health research institutes recommend additional periodical CME sessions for professionals in health-care industries. The CME Providers and program developers suggest the following beneficial aspects and utility of such learning and developmental initiatives.

  • CME is the most convenient platform to release research results and innovations from various medical universities and research academies. From robotic surgeries and pharmaceutical manufacturers to technological apparatuses and developments in cancer treatments, there is a range of advanced information for experienced doctors to follow while taking up future cases.
  • CME is required for doctors and surgeons in several states in the US to retain their medical license.
  • CME courses provide access to the latest information coming from sources related to every field specialization.
  • CME credits help medical students and veteran doctors to gain better access to treatment procedures to tend to severe cases that were not possible to tend to previously.
  • Medical professionals can boost career growth and explore newer dimensions in niche specializations.
  • Medical professionals can meet specific requirements pertaining to medical licenses and certifications.
  • CME learnership programs allow physicians and surgeons to achieve memberships at reputed institutes.
  • Quality information helps medical teams improvise on their interdepartmental and intradepartmental management issues.
  • CME Accreditation Requirements

    Certain obligations for CME Providers ensure that the content material of such programs is authentic, is based on proven facts, and is accurate. Accreditation is mandatory for all CME programs in order to make them feasible for certification and licensing requisites. The American Osteopathic Association and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) are the prime organizations for regulating the licensed and certified CME programs in the US.

    Since the inauguration in 1981, ACCME has set the accreditation requirements with a widened scope of addressing issues about changes in health-care practices. The requisites focus on CME contents to ensure that the program conducted by accredited providers results in solutions to address patient-care problems and benefit communities.

    The ACCME accreditation requirements can be categorized into three parts:

    Accreditation Criteria

    The CME specialty providers may obtain different types of accreditation subject to different norms divided into 22 criteria.

    • Provisional Accreditation: Of the 22 criteria listed, providers must comply with all the norms mentioned under criteria 1 to 3 and 7 to 12 to obtain provisional accreditation. The accreditation validity is limited to 2 years.
    • Full Accreditation/Reaccreditation: CME providers applying for full accreditation or reaccreditation must comply with all the norms mentioned in criteria 1 to 13 of the 22 criteria listed. All norms are mandatory and allow validity of a 4-year term.
    • Accreditation with Commendation: This accreditation is valid for an extended period of a 6-year term and mandates that providers comply with all 22 criteria mentioned in the list.

    Per the latest changes released by the ACCME, criteria 4, 14, and 15 have been eliminated and are not mandatory to follow.

    ACCME Standards to Protect the Independence of CME Activities

    The ACCME standards explicitly state the level of independence of CME Providers , the necessary guidelines to address matters of conflict among team members, and other similar issues. The standards also define the limitations of utilizing commercial support from various sources. It is extremely important for accredited providers to comply with the accountability standards, expenditure by the learners and the CME providing individuals, and other similar compliances. Additionally, accredited providers are not allowed to include any sort of commercial breaks in audiovisual contents for CME purposes.

    ACCME Policies

    The ACCME policies include a set of guidelines, such as permissible CME business practices, necessary record and document retention for references, and verification. Policies also mandate that accredited providers submit annual data reports with specific information, such as activities, hours of education, and nonphysician participants (if any). Per the policies, accredited providers must submit attested copies of required testimonials and certifications for HIPAA compliance. ACCME has issued a downloadable PDF version containing the complete details for the convenience of all accredited providers.

    Conclusion

    CME has often been criticized as a means of promoting specific pharmaceuticals or machineries pertaining to the medical industry. In attempting to stop possible manipulation, the ACCME has introduced strict guidelines in the form of accreditation standards that restrict accredited providers from distributing promotional advertisements and face-to-face CME propaganda. Entry into CME conferences, online programs, and other group discussions will not be permitted to representatives with commercial interests. Interested medical students and experienced professionals from the health-care industry must consult their respective department heads or faculty members about attending such programs.

    Footnotes:

    1. The Science of Continuing Medical Education: Terms, Tools, and Gaps: Effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Educational Guidelines- http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleID=1089718

    2. Accreditation Requirements for CME Providers- http://www.accme.org/requirements

    3. Accreditation Requirements for CME Providers- http://www.accme.org/sites/default/files/626_20140626_Accreditation_Requirements_Document_0.pdf

    4. The Importance of Continuing Medical Education (CME)- http://www.meded.uci.edu/CME/spotlights/Seaback_spotlight.asp

    5. Continuing Medical Education (CME)- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuing_medical_education