Need to earn some CME credits in a hurry? We hear you. With everything else you have to think about, sometimes earning CME slides to the backburner until the deadline looms before you. But the Web has made it more convenient to get the continuing education you need. Although sometimes it’s still worth the time and effort to leave your practice to attend a multiday medical conference, it’s no longer necessary. Now you can earn CME credits with a few clicks of the mouse. Here’s a peek at what’s out there:
1. Online options: CME offerings abound online, but rather than slog through Google search results, check out The Annotated List of Online Continuing Medical Education (www.cmelist.com ). The site, created by Bernard Sklar, MD, conveniently compiles and links to more than 300 CME Web sites. It also includes details on the offerings.
2. Webinars: Is static text on a screen putting you to sleep? A webinar might better suit your educational needs. At CMElectures.org. narration and graphics accompany each of the more than 135 lectures, which range from abdominal pain to wound care, and are available for an annual subscription fee.
3. Podcasts: Want CME credits on the go? Download free CME podcasts to your iPod and listen when you’re, say, heading home from the office. At www.cmepodcasting.com. healthcare communications company CME Outfitters offers tons of podcasts — and step-by-step instructions for downloading.
4. Videos: Ever wish watching TV earned you CME credits? Well, now it can via CME videos on the Internet. The Doctor’s Channel (www.thedoctorschannel.com ) provides hundreds of free CME videos in a host of specialties. You supply
5. Mobile devices: Yes, there’s an app for that. There are iPhone apps for everything else, why not get your CME on your phone, too? WebMD is now offering a Medscape iPhone app that includes opportunities to earn CME credits. XM radio station ReachMD also offers on-demand CME content and testing on your iPhone.
6. Live events: Sometimes you just want to talk to other docs face to face. Despite the proliferation of online CME, there are still lots of opportunities to earn CME credits at live events all over the country. Physicians Travel and Meeting Network’s CMEplanner.com helps you find events in your region or specialty.
7. Cruises: Ever wondered how to combine your CME requirements with your family vacation? Continuing Education Inc. has the answer: a cruise. Although decidedly more expensive than the online options and not nearly as quick, it’s hard to beat sailing away to a tropical island in a relaxing, family-friendly environment while earning up to 14 credits.
8. Publications: Journals like Physicians Practice still offer the opportunity to earn credits for free. Reading our articles online and answering quiz questions at CMELLC.com (click on Practice Management ) can earn you as many as 12 credits annually. Learn how to manage your practice more effectively and earn necessary CME credits at the same time — what could be better?
Abigail Beckel is managing editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sara Michael is an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at email@example.com .
This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Physicians Practice.