The field of medicine is constantly evolving. With the introduction of several technology-based solutions in the past decade, changes to treatment plans and diagnostic methods occur at an even faster pace. To keep up with the latest methods, concepts, and management options, physicians are required to attend courses for continuing medical education. These courses may be introduced as standalone sessions hosted by individual hospitals, academic centers, or professional bodies, or even as part of an annual conference. Regularly scheduled series like grand rounds, tumor boards, and mortality conferences also offer CME credits. However, in the last few years, there has been a shift towards online modules and webinars that provide CME participation points.
Physicians require CME credits to maintain their license to practice and the minimum number of points required per year may differ from state to state. In addition, specialty medical boards may have their requirements for CME credits, for physicians to maintain their board certifications. Licenses and certifications are required for physicians to practice medicine and provide better job opportunities, lower malpractice premiums and higher reimbursements, as well as maintain the physicians’ standing or reputation in the medical community.
Keeping in mind the travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a notable shift towards online
CME courses for physicians,
which allow physicians to keep up with their education from the convenience of their own homes or practices. The availability of pre-recorded sessions also makes it possible to attend the CMEs and fulfill the requirements at their own pace.
Here are the Top 5 Online
CME courses for physicians.
- American Medical Association (AMA) Ed Hub
The AMA Ed Hub
platform provides a range of course material available in the form of webinars or journal-based learning that help physicians earn CME credits. The courses are conveniently divided into medical or academic topics, professionalism and communication topics as well as those that offer insight into practice growth and finance management. This gives a more holistic ongoing education to medical professionals as opposed to being limited only to academia or clinical medicine, giving practical and real-life training.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
CME online training courses offered by the AHRQ
cover healthcare quality and patient safety topics that are essential for practicing physicians in the current times, considering accreditation requirements by national and international agencies like the Joint Commission International (JCI).
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
provides online CME credits for physicians interested in disease prevalence and infection prevention and risk management in healthcare facilities, covering core concepts like safe injection practices, the judicious use of antibiotics, and best practices for hospital infection control. This is especially useful for physicians dealing with epidemics like COVID-19 or Ebola, in the last few years.
- Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education
The Stanford CME portal
online CME courses and live webinars on current topics in medicine ranging from clinical practice guidelines in various specialties to industry prevalent issues like bias in medicine, design thinking, professional leadership, interpretation of cynical trial data, all of which adds to physician awareness about the healthcare marketplace.
- The Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development
Online medical education is provided by the Mayo Clinic
experts through GIBLIB
, a new on-demand medical education library. Their extensive menu includes a full-capture surgical video with live narration by surgeons, lectures by industry leaders as well as timely discussions on trending topics.
And here’s a BONUS source! CME List
offers a comprehensive list of online CME courses categorized by specialty, by topic, and by profession, making it easy for physicians to choose the topics they are interested in.
While CMEs for physicians have been considered cumbersome, tedious, and expensive, it is the most effective way for practicing physicians to gain targeted knowledge of best practices and skills required for their specialty, with the opportunity to implement them immediately on the job. The benefit of this eventually passes on to the patient, as the quality of care delivered is exponentially better, leading to higher patient satisfaction and improved community health outcomes.