Trends in the CME industry point toward continuing education that really makes a difference for both healthcare providers and patients. Yes, CME remains essential for maintaining licensure. However, the increasing number of topics and delivery methods physicians and other practitioners can choose from demonstrates CME providers’ willingness to create and distribute innovative, effective education materials.
1. Cultural Considerations
Continuing education is taking into consideration cultural differences, not only among patient populations but providers as well. CME must be accessible and relevant to doctors of all backgrounds.
It’s also essential for CME to keep practitioners up to date on best practices for communicating with and treating specific populations. Removing language barriers is just the beginning. Culturally sensitive care takes into consideration groups and preferences beyond the traditional definition of culture as the “beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.”
The American Academy of Family Physicians discusses the many ways patients identify, all of which can impact what care is required and how it should be delivered. This broadened understanding of culture includes traits such as age, cognitive and physical limitations, gender identity, occupation, and many other characteristics.
Cultural considerations are one very important part of a wider trend of personalization in continuing medical education. CME courses are adapting to providers’ preferred topics, delivery methods, learning styles, testing methods, and more. Physicians and other healthcare practitioners should look for CME options aligned with their practice and areas of interest, and that measure understanding in ways that make sense to the provider. Part of this trend is also the inclusion of physician wellness in more CME curricula and itineraries.
3. Live Streaming Webinars
While CME webinars exploded in popularity when in-person events were affected by COVID restrictions, they are here to stay. Webinars combine the benefits of in person learning with the pros of online courses. For many practitioners who can’t travel to CME conferences due to time or financial limitations, webinars offer the opportunity to learn in real time from expert presenters with the convenience, affordability, and accessibility of on demand CME. This gives doctors with limitations more CME topics and formats to choose from as well.
4. Game Based Learning
Game based learning (GBL) helps practitioners learn important information more deeply. Gamification adds interactivity to sessions for more active learning. Common examples of GBL include relatively simple games like spinning wheels and multiple choice questions answered on a connected device. These techniques increase both engagement and motivation, leading to more effective learning now and increased retention once providers return to their practices.