Online Continuing Medical Education
“Online Continuing Medical Education” or Online CME has increased its popularity among medical professionals aiming to renew their licenses. CME (Continuing Medical Education) has become a requirement in renewing a professional medical license in the United States; the rationale behind this is because of the fast growth rate of the medical world. New information is shared every year, new techniques developed and new insights are formed to either supplement old theories or disprove them. CME is a refresher course for new professionals in the form of classes, seminars, conferences and lectures.
Although medical professionals have the budget, they don’t necessarily have the time to attend an out of town conference or seminar—and the solution to that is “Online Continuing Medical Education”. These conferences and lectures are in the form of webinars (web seminars), virtual classes and can be attended from the comforts of your own home. It’s also relatively cheaper since it does not require one to go to an actual school to attend the class.
Of course, there are some criticisms against CME. Firstly, that there is “commercial bias” with pharmaceuticals. A CME will only be recognized if it was funded by large organizations—the argument is that if these courses were funded by a single organization, they will be focused on the promotion of their products and the professionals will not be provided the unbiased education that they deserve. Regardless, a 2010 study by Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that all the students that they interviewed claimed that there were no commercial biases during the time that they were in the program. Some critics even suggest that CME should not be made into a yearly requirement since it is also burden to the professionals who need to sacrifice time to teach.
Aside from the criticisms against CME, there are no doubts about taking “Online Continuing Medical Education”; technical issues from the program or the internet may arise, but it cannot outweigh the luxury of time and cheaper costs that it offers in return. Of course, since most of us have been trained and taught in more traditional methods, there is much needed adjustment especially if the professionals aren’t familiar with the new technology—not only the student but the instructors will have to get familiar with the program to effectively conduct a webinar. Professionals won’t be able to interact with their colleagues to discuss their new found knowledge the old fashion way.
Despite the criticisms though, “Online Continuing Medical Education” will continue to revolutionize medical learning and is here to stay.