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Why is Continuing medical education important, and how to make it effective?

By October 25, 2021March 9th, 2022Blog

“On-demand CME – Keeping you up-to-date – always.”

The only way to remain updated in an ever-changing world is to keep abreast with the most current knowledge. So many professions expect their people to take the initiative to stay abreast with the latest skills, developments, and new technologies required in their field. In some jobs, continuing education is mandatory to stay certified or licensed. In the medical profession, continuing medical education is of utmost importance and highly critical. But let’s be honest – medical professionals don’t have the time to dedicate to the CME between work and home life. Here’s a look at why CME is critical and how it can be made effective.

The importance of CME

1. Improve patient health

It is not mandatory for today’s physicians to take the Hippocratic Oath to uphold ethical standards. However, doctors are responsible for saving lives. Today, knowledge changes at the speed of light. Medical professionals must take their continuing education seriously to stay abreast of the latest medical technology, guidelines, protocols, medicines, treatment options, and procedures. Better knowledge leads to better patient care, and CME helps health care professionals discover viable ways that improve their patient care.

2. Give patients peace of mind

Healthcare involves some uncertainty and risk, and patients must rely on the competence and intentions of healthcare professionals. So, the concept of trust is critical in the field of medicine. Earning a patient’s trust is not easy if you don’t have the necessary tools (knowledge, techniques, and skills) to convince them of your ability and reliability to treat them.
Patients are more likely to confide in healthcare professionals and accept their care and recommendations when they can be trusted. According to studies, one of the essential elements of trust in healthcare is competence in knowledge – and that’s what continuing medical education can give you.

3. Better collaboration

Multidisciplinary teams work collaboratively to provide safe, high-quality care. For successful team collaboration, individual members must be competent and possess the relevant knowledge, competencies, and attitudes. CME can teach practical medical team management skills to make interprofessional teamwork and collaboration a reality.

4. Meet state requirements

Annual CME credits are mandatory for physicians in some states to maintain their medical licenses, and that is because hospitals within these states require a specific number of CME credits for their doctors to remain credentialed to see patients. Continuing medical education facilitates lifelong learning, but it also helps medical professionals maintain their certification.

5. For career advancement

Any healthcare professional who wants to advance their career must demonstrate a proactive personality. CME on demand can help them address real-world challenges, gain professional growth, and earn membership in professional organizations. While this is a fantastic way to provide CME, most healthcare workers are too tired to go through or retain that online material.

4 Tips to make CME more effective

One of the evident barriers identified in a study on improving CME was insufficient interaction with instructors. Other problems identified were the instructor’s use of an undifferentiated approach, ignorance, and unreal/abstract CME. All these barriers raise the question – how can CME be made more effective? Here are some tips to improve CME and make it more effective.

1. Improve teacher-learning interaction

Traditional CME that uses formal lectures by specialists might not meet the learning requirements of practitioners and could cause dissatisfaction. However, increasing learner involvement in teaching programs could lead to better learning outcomes and satisfaction.
Studies proved that learners involved in the selection and preparation of CME topics and who interacted with CME teachers were more satisfied with the teaching programs.

2. Create appropriate curriculums

CME programs are the primary source of healthcare professionals updating their current knowledge. So CME organizers must determine the appropriate curriculum for each meeting. That requires the following:

  • A thorough understanding of the principles of adult learning and adult education.
  • Having qualified educators on board.
  • Conducting a needs assessment to assess the current needs and creating a curriculum based on those needs.
  • Creating a curriculum that is up-to-date with evidence-based best practices.

3. Provide on-demand CME

Most hospitals depend on online modules (on-demand CME) to provide their healthcare staff with ongoing education and training that keeps them abreast with the constantly evolving technologies, innovations, and practices. This is cost-effective. But it also means that physicians can take up their CME at any time and anywhere – at their convenience – and on any device. However, to be successful, these on-demand courses must be created based on relevance, applicability, and the learner’s interest in CME topics.

4. Provide CME with gift cards

Many companies that provide CME seminars also offer gift cards that can be used to stretch medical education. Gift cards are worth several thousand dollars. They can be used to meet other CME requirements, buy medical books, upgrade a personal computer to access courses faster or pick up teaching material. American Medical Seminars Inc. offers two free gift cards (Amazon gift card and AMEX gift card) worth $500 each when you buy two of their comprehensive audio/video courses.

CME continues to be the single most effective way to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing world of medicine. However, steps must be taken to create more effective CME programs, and On-demand CME is the one way of ensuring successful continuous education.

American Medical Seminars, Inc. provides high-quality practice-based continuing medical education (CME) across various locations within the United States. AMS is accredited by the ACCME and is one of the top providers of CME for physicians and other healthcare providers.

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