What’s the right mix of CME courses?
When you’re a mom and a physician, you have to be an expert in time management and prioritization – there’s just no other way to get through the day. So when it comes to CME that must be attended to throughout the year, the question becomes how to accrue the credits in the most efficient manner possible. Are CME courses, in-person conferences or online offerings best? The strategy is very individual but here’s some information that may help.
Online Courses Offer Efficiency
There is nothing like an online course for efficiency and laser focused topics. You can pick up credits and improve skills ranging from interpreting radiographs to communication with elderly patients. Some online CME sources partner their offerings with additional information like curated news feeds and blogs. If you need to pick up CMEs in the comfort of your own office or living room, here are some examples of what’s out there:
BoardVitals offers CME credits for 30 different specialties. The company makes it possible to fulfill CME requirements by answering board-style questions and cases from the BoardVitals questions banks. As you answer the questions and correct any questions you answered incorrectly, you earn CME credits. Think of it as a new take on the old “open book” exam. This one easily earns CME credits. Bonus: For select specialties, you can study for your MOC exam, and earn MOC and CME credits simultaneously.
Harvard Medical School offers HMS Global Academy, an “online learning center for postgraduate medical education” with accredited and non-accredited courses. The academy says it offers “self-paced, interactive courses” as well as news and blogs.
The American College of Physicians has a comprehensive list of CME in a variety of specialties. In fact, you would have to travel to at least 16 different conferences to gain access to the specialties listed on the ACP home page alone. The ACP offers online CME, MOC, and learning activities.
Close to Home CME Offer Costs Savings
If you are looking for convenient, low-cost CME, offered as either in-person or online courses, check out your state medical association or the hospital with which you are affiliated.
For example, the Tennessee Medical Association offers an online course called “Examination of a Chronic Pain Patient” with 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (Enduring), at a cost of only $50.
Mayo Clinic offers online CME courses that average $30 each. For example, one course called Interpretation of Chest Radiographs for the Nonradiologist offers 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 1.00 Attendance.
In-Person Conferences Offer Networking, and Sometimes, Inspiration
From time to time, it may be a good idea to attend a CME conference in person. Online courses can be isolating.They can’t offer the stimulation, inspiration and networking that comes from talking with colleagues, sharing experiences, seeing, and hearing new information.
It can also be beneficial to get out of your own environment for a while and hear what others in your field are experiencing. The exchange of ideas can be hugely beneficial in gaining insights into daily practice. Attending presentations, demonstrations, workshops and lectures can provide you with important new information on clinical research, discoveries, technological innovations and medical devices, and improvements in medical practice.
If you don’t want to leave “the gang” behind, it is possible to take the family and combine a medical conference with a vacation. Numerous companies now offer medical conferences in locations around the world and some are held on cruise ships. Just make sure conference CMEs are accredited.
One company believes you may want to study while you are on the go – either on vacation, or a long business trip. They will send their “Audio-Digest self-study multimedia CME“ to your location, anywhere, any time.
There are many ways to pursue CMEs. Finding the vehicle that best suits you is a matter of your budget and how you wish to spend your time. CMEs must be pursued and must be maintained, it’s up to you if you complete them while sitting on your couch or on a beach in the South of France.