Continuing Medical Education (CME) is often viewed as a tedious process that disgruntles many busy physicians and other medical professionals. The process can be time-consuming, expensive, and tiring but it is important that medical professionals participate. In addition to needing CME credits to meet your state board CME requirements and sometimes your medical specialty board MOC requirements, CME will help medical professionals in other aspects of their development and career.
While the CME process and requirements can vary dependant on medical professions, it is important all healthcare professionals participate. Here are the top four reasons why participating in CME is important.
1. CME is needed to maintain your state medical license
The most important reason physicians should participate in CME is that most licensed physicians need to earn CME credits to maintain their license. State CME requirements will vary dependant on which state medical board you are licensed by. For example, physicians in Washington licensed by the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission must earn 200 CME credits every 4 years to maintain their medical license.
Physicians who practice without a medical license are subject to many penalties including fees, disciplinary proceedings, or even criminal prosecution in extreme cases. Check out additional consequences of not earning CME credits.
2. CME is needed to maintain your specialty board certification
Many specialty boards physicians belong to require physicians to earn CME credits to maintain their board certification. The American Board of Pathology (ABP), for example, requires members to earn at least 70 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM every 3 years to maintain their board certification.
Those without a board certification risk hurting their reputation and hurts their chances of receiving increased payments, higher reimbursement rates, and lower malpractice premiums.
3. CME helps you stay current with changes in your medical specialty
Regardless of what you specialize in, medicine is constantly changing. It is imperative that physicians stay up to date with the latest advances in medicine including best practices, new concepts, the evolution of treatment, etc. By participating in CME activities, physicians will make sure they are staying current in the topics and issues most relevant to them.
A great option for staying current with the changes in your specialty/focus area is BoardVitals online CME courses. Their activities are constantly reviewed and updated by an experienced medical content team, who ensure the material in the board review courses is up to date.
4. CME will help you improve patient satisfaction and outcomes
Physicians can help drive increased patient satisfaction and more positive patient outcomes by participating in CME. As mentioned, CME will help physicians stay up to date with the latest advances in their specialty as well as filling in any knowledge gaps. This will, in turn, allow them to immediately apply what they learn including best treatment methods when dealing with their patients. The refined skills and knowledge physicians pick up from diving into CME activities should help them improve overall patient care.
5. CME can help gain access to special organizations
Medical professionals can gain access to special organizations by earning CME credits. As previously stated, CME credits are often needed to maintain your specialty board certification. These specialty board certifications can provide access to certain professional organizations. Memberships to these organizations can lead to multiple benefits including increased reputation amongst your peers, patients, institutions, and more.