Continuing Medical Education: What You Should Know
Written by Joshua Kleinstreuer
IN A NUTSHELL:
- Works to enhance knowledge/skills
- Boosts discipline of clinical medicine
- Improves provision of health care to public
According to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the definition of continuing medical education (CME) is:
“Educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.”
The ACCME definition of CME is broad in order to encompass continuing educational activities that assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities effectively and efficiently.
Examples of topics include:
- Management, for physicians responsible for managing a health care facility
- Educational methodology, for physicians teaching in a medical school
- Practice management, for physicians interested in providing better service to patients
- Coding and reimbursement in a medical practice
If a physician participates in continuing education activities that are not directly related to their professional work, it does not fall within the ACCME definition of CME content. Although they may be worthwhile for physicians, continuing education activities related to a physician’s nonprofessional educational needs or interests, such as personal financial planning or appreciation of literature or music, are not considered CME content by the ACCME.