CME (Continuing Medical Education) includes educational activities for healthcare professionals to develop, maintain or enhance their services to patients. It also consists of educational events approved for CME credits. Physicians and other medical workers need to maintain a certain number of CME credits annually to keep their medical licenses to continue their practice and see patients. The American Medical Association Physicians’ Recognition Award authorizes the CME credits.
The purpose of CME is to keep physicians updated with the best medical care and facilitate lifelong learning. It requires a certain number of hours to be completed in a year. A sixty-minute session between the faculty and the physician in a live CME event equals one credit. Physicians must complete 24 hours of CME credits each year, two of which must include medical ethics and professional responsibility.
The credit requirement may vary from one state or organization to another. Regardless, it is necessary for medical professionals. Therefore, let us look at some of the best ways to acquire CME credits.
1. Maintain an Online Learning Management System
Maintaining an online learning management system will help you keep track of your CME credits and streamline your workflow. An online catalog with updated compliance and certificates will help keep you on track while keeping up with your busy schedule.
A CME tracker would help manage your yearly CME credits and plan better. A tracker allows you to see how many credits you earned this year, identify activities on your CME transcript, find gaps in CME credits, review past CME topics and activities, and download and print out certificates. It acts as a one-stop shop for all your CME credit needs.
Your organization may offer CME solutions on an LMS that will help you with CME credentialing and reporting. It will make presenting your CME certificates to your employers and the licensing board easier with a tracker.
2. Attend Live CME Conferences
An accredited CME provider offers live seminars, conferences, workshops, simulation labs, and journal clubs on local, national, and regional levels.
These events occur at a specified date, time, and location and offer a certain number of designated CME credits to claim. They occur throughout the calendar year. You can check out the schedule of events online.
You would have to arrange for your transportation and lodging to the live seminars by yourself. However, some employers may offer physicians a badge or a stipend to cover the expenses. But these are only valid for one event. Therefore, you may have to spend out of pocket for additional events.
3. Attend Online Events
You can also attend online live events if you have time or resource constraints. You can explore various online credits. There are numerous CME websites categorized by specialty, topics, and professions.
Alternatively, an online webinar would be a more interactive way to learn. Many lectures ranging from wound care to abdominal care, accompanied by graphics and narration, are available for a subscription fee.
Similarly, you can download free CME credit podcasts on your iPod and listen to them whenever possible. You will also find systematic instructions on how to download the podcast.
You can even watch videos online or on television to earn your CME credits. Moreover, there are many mobile applications for earning CME credits from different CME providers. You can download them on your phone and get your credits.
4. Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS)
Regularly scheduled series (RSS) includes multiple sessions taking place steadily. In-person and on-site sessions are organized by accredited institutions that plan and present the series. It consists of tumor boards, grand rounds, and mortality and morbidity conferences presented to the healthcare staff.
It is easier to attend for those with hectic schedules who are involved in planning and attending some events elsewhere. It also allows you to stay on schedule and connect with your colleagues more effectively.
Attending regularly scheduled series will ensure you earn your required CME credits in your specialization area. It will also allow you to balance your professional and personal life more effectively, as these are less costly and easy to access.
There are many ways for you to earn CME credits in 2023. The most important one is maintaining an online learning management system or LMS. It will allow you to plan and track your yearly CME credits requirement. You can also download and print your certificates at once.
Moreover, you can attend on-site or online events anywhere in the country. Many CME-accredited providers and institutions offer multiple platforms for physicians to earn their credits. You can also opt for a hybrid approach by attending online and on-site events to make your credit earning more interactive and exciting. All these options add to your knowledge and credibility as a healthcare professional.
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