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Why Is Continuing Education So Important In Healthcare?

By April 15, 2024April 16th, 2024CME Activities

CME is required for physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Failing to complete CME credits can result in the inability to practice because of a lost license, revoked certification, or rescinded contract. Why does skipping continuing education have such dire consequences? CME helps healthcare professionals stay up to date, which is essential in a field as important and innovative as medicine. But that’s not the only benefit of continuing medical education.

What is CME?

CME, an acronym for continuing medical education, is a credit-based system for physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs), as well as other healthcare professionals. CME is designed to help healthcare providers both maintain existing competencies and build new skills.

What is ACCME accreditation?

The specific type of CME credits you need to earn depends on what organization(s) you’re affiliated with. For physicians, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is most common. These activities must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or a recognized state medical society (SMS). The ACCME ensures continuing education is valid and unbiased. These standards create a trusted system of high quality information.

American Medical Seminars, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Why is CME important?

CME is not important because it’s required; CME is required because it’s important. There are many benefits of continuing medical education, from staying up to date on techniques and technologies to improving interpersonal communication.

1. Stay Up to Date

Tools, techniques, technologies, and best practices change quickly in medicine. Depending on the topic and learning objectives, CME often supports doctors’ desire to stay current with the latest medical developments. Continuing education offers specialty-specific, clinically-relevant insights to disseminate the latest best practices. Even practitioners with decades of experience benefit from understanding new developments and how they might be applied in specific situations.

2. Gain New Skills

No physician or advanced practice provider knows everything; there are always new pearls to incorporate and skills to learn. This is true for your primary responsibilities as well as tangentially related areas of medicine that impact your patients. Choose CME with respected speakers and targeted topics to gain skills immediately applicable to your practice.

3. Experience Professional Development

Healthcare organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of professional development beyond medical skills. Some CME providers include elements of professional development—like leadership, cross-team communication, technology, provider wellness, and bedside manner—within broader curricula. There are numerous benefits to these topics, including increased confidence, streamlined collaboration, and improved interactions with coworkers and patients.

4. Improve Patient Experience

CME is designed to make you a better provider, with up to date knowledge, clinically-relevant skills, and improved communication. Continuing education equips doctors with the latest treatments and medical technology to improve diagnosis and treatment. These benefits directly improve your patients’ experiences and, ideally, their outcomes.

5. Advance Your Career

The other benefits of CME compound to provide one additional advantage: career advancement. Increasing and refining your skillsets within your core competencies, as well as tangentially related areas of medicine, make you a more valuable asset to your healthcare organization. The same is true for your ability to communicate with patients and practitioners, as well as other professional skills like leadership.

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