Why Live CME Conferences Are Losing Their Effectiveness
There are many ways to earn CME nowadays. It doesn’t need to be an out of town, expensive CME conference anymore, and that shift might be beneficial. Although CME is required to maintain active medical licenses and board certification, that doesn’t always mean that physicians believe the activities are relevant to today’s medical practice.
Issues Affecting Live CME Conferences
Several issues reduce the effectiveness of CME conferences, the activity many physicians pursue to complete their yearly requirements.
These issues include:
- Physician Financial Transparency Reports (The Federal Sunshine Act)
- CME approach and subject matter has not been updated.
- Some say the culture is outdated and the science behind CME is disjointed.
- CME is not applicable to today’s medical practice, does not incorporate team-based care, population health, or patient-centered quality care.
- The costs, stress, and lack of recurring benefits from attending a live CME conference.
Physician Financial Transparency Reports
It could be argued that the Federal Sunshine Act has effectively gutted CME conferences. A recent survey on the issue showed that nearly 50% of physicians say they do not appear on panels for fear of the appearance of conflict with the Sunshine Act (requiring transparent reporting of pharma/physician interactions). This limits knowledge sharing.
Costs for CME has increased exponentially as Big Pharma has reduced its commercial support by $1 billion under the Sunshine Act. Physicians must still pursue CME and as a result, increased costs fall squarely on their shoulders.
CME Approach & Subject Matter Hasn’t Been Updated
Since the beginning, CME has focused on educating individual practitioners — strengthening knowledge in their specialty and diseases. However, rapidly changing medical practice has created the need for new types of education that is centered around interdisciplinary teams, efficiency of care delivery and communication among team members.
Leading online CME providers, like Med-Challenger, have spearheaded the effort to provide adaptive CME solutions in this area to transform CME in a meaningful way.
Live CME conferences are lacking emphasis on skills and practice that ensures patient safety and quality outcomes. CME needs to take a comprehensive look at continuing professional development, dispose of siloed knowledge and instead offer relevant and up-to-date educational support for today’s medical practice.
CME Isn’t Applicable To Today’s Medical Practice
Teaching competence in physician performance means linking evidence-based science to quality improvement. It also means offering CME in population health and complex public health needs, rather than just disease-specific states.
CME needs to mature, adapting programming so that it can grow and change along with the experience of the physician. Competency should be measured differently for a novice than for an intuitive expert.
As physicians meet growing pressure to reduce medical errors and improve quality of care, CME needs to support these efforts. There needs to be a focus on quality improvement, risk assessments, and patient-centered care that improves outcomes. Quality is a complex equation and increasingly state and federal stakeholders are imposing accountability standards and demanding evidence of progress. CME needs to rise to the challenge and help physicians meet these rigorous requirements.
The days when CME conferences focused on diseases and recent medical advances have become antiquated. Performance improvement, patient outcomes, community and public health metrics are of importance. Teamwork, interdisciplinary care, and a patient-centered health system is at the heart of medicine today and should be reflected in CME.
The movement toward a comprehensive overhaul of CME has begun and physicians can help by urging their boards to hasten the pace of improvements.
Stay-at-home online solutions do more – with less stress, cost, and time.
Live CME conferences can’t adequately compete with the benefits of newer online solutions. Fact is, all the travel, costs, and time away impacts your practice life detrimentally. There is a perceived benefit to “live interaction with peers” but most of that interaction is not about CME.
Outside of lecture after lecture, conference resources provide outdated resources – paper binders, photocopies, or maybe “talking head” captures of lecturers as an “online study” component. These video captures have a very limited shelf life as changes in practice will not be reflected in a video capture from last year.
Fact is, providers go to a live CME conference to get something done or save time – but they largely end up doing neither. One weekend of cramming information or earning a few CME credits is not an attractive plan for today’s providers where online solutions provide more adaptive, up-to-date and re-usable access to CME credit fulfillment.
Med-Challenger provides an easy way to complete your CME by learning from self-assessment question banks that are updated in real-time to provide physicians the latest medical information on the market. All credits are Category 1 CME, and a single purchase allows you to complete all of your annual CME requirements in less than one day. Content is compiled by more than 250 specialists and maintained continually.
Find out why thousands of physicians are choosing Med-Challenger over traditional conferences to meet their yearly CME requirements.