Continuing medical education: Cost and networking opportunities matter

If you enjoy getting away from it all--and even popping out for a dip in the pool--between continuing medical education (CME) sessions, there's a great deal of value in that experience, reports Medical Economics.

While online opportunities to earn CMEs are increasing in number, the ability to network and meet likeminded doctors who face similar career pressures in person is priceless, Michael Romano, M.D, chief medical officer for Nebraska Health Network and a family practice physician, told the publication.

"What gets lost in the conversation [about online alternatives and budget shortfalls] is the collegial interaction with colleagues from the same specialty, and that's a very important part of these activities. As we deal with physician burnout, the ability to take a week, go to a vacation spot and unwind for a week is really helpful in avoiding some of these burnout issues," Romano told Medical Economics.

Here are three other ideas to consider as you map out your CME plan for the year ahead, according to the article:

Discover your knowledge gaps. Online assessment tools provided by the various medical specialty associations can help doctors determine knowledge gaps. With this knowledge in hand, doctors can then pursue programs--such as those focused on population health--that are practical and timely. More good news: Payers will love to know you're learning about population health.

Realize that lower-cost, online options are available. Since there are no travel and related expenses, online learning is always the most cost-effective option. And rather than having to jet off to Orlando, it's worth investigating local learning opportunities that allow you to participate in interactive case presentations, the article noted.

Get engaged. Look into smaller workshop sessions--rather than week-long, comprehensive meetings. And use the opportunity to ask questions and connect with presenters by email after the conference.

To learn more:
- read the article