Posts filed under ‘Certification’

Recent Trends in Continuing Medical Education Among Obstetrician–Gynecologists

A abstract of arecent article in Obstetrics & Gynecology (May 2011 – Volume 117 – Issue 5 – pp 1060-1064. Burwick, Richard M. MD, MPH; Schulkin, Jay PhD; Cooley, Sarah W.; Janakiraman, Vanitha MD; Norwitz, Errol R. MD, PhD; Robinson, Julian N. MD) reports on a study conducted “To estimate current trends in continuing medical education among obstetrician–gynecologists in relation to the Maintenance of Certification program.”

A validated questionnaire was mailed to 1,030 randomly selected physicians of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Participants were asked about current practices and opinions regarding continuing medical education activities. Responses were compared between members mandated for Maintenance of Certification (board certification 1986 or later; time-limited certificate) or not (board certification

Some interesting results were provided:

1. College physicians mandated to participate in the Maintenance of Certification program were more likely to rely on Annual Board Certification articles as a major source of continuing medical education credits compared with those not requiring Maintenance of Certification
2. Maintenance of Certification requirement led to decreased use of the national or international meetings and self-selected continuing medical education materials as sources of continuing medical education credits.
3. Physicians in both groups equally valued:

  • the relevance of Annual Board Certification articles
  • the importance of content at academic meetings
  • the usefulness of simulation drills and
  • the general ability of continuing medical education activities to improve skills as a physician

As for conclusions it appears that the:

1. requirement of the Maintenance of Certification program has led to significant changes in continuing medical education choices by obstetrician–gynecologists, and,
2. changes in continuing medical education appear related to mandated obligations rather than personal preference.

A subscription is required to access the article so I didn’t see the survey or other results reported. I don’t know if any questions were included and results reported about the performance improvement component of the MOC process.

I find it a little distressing that the changes reported appear to be less matter of personal preference and more related to mandated obligations. I am not sure what to make of this. What do you think?


April 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Reflections on Taking the CCMEP Examination

If you are considering taking the CCMEP examination you might find this  interesting. It is a podcast I did with three people who were successful in earning their certification. They share why they took the exam, how they prepared for the examination, some surprises they encountered and a few other reflections. Download it to you favorite MP3 player or your computer and have a listen. Its about 15 minutes long. I hope you find it useful.

March 3, 2009 at 2:53 am Leave a comment

Pharma and Device Companies Funding CME? Why bother?

Suppose I own a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing company. You know what? I am going to shed providing support for accredited CME and I am doing it right now. My company does not need the extra hassles. Put yourself in their shoes and see if it makes sense to you.

Continue Reading October 20, 2008 at 1:03 am Leave a comment

Certification Examination for CME Providers Close

In January of this year I let you know about the development of a certification examination for people working in CME. Well it is about to happen. For a status report, including some important timelines, you might want to listen to my podcast with Dr. Judy Ribble, Executive Director of the National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, Inc. (NC-CME). If you are interested in learning more be sure to visit the NC-CME website to find some important information.

April 5, 2008 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment

Certification for CME Professionals?

Yes! Certification for CME professionals. There is group working on this right now and it is likely that a certification process for CME professional will be launched in the very near future.

The effort is not without distractors. Some ask if there a body of knowledge unique to the field of CME that can be used to establish a viable set of knowledge and performance expectations. Some wonder who will acknowledge a credential earned through a certification process. Others challenge the need for an independent certifying body suggesting it is the responsibility of professional societies in CME to “train” people in the filed and to determine what competencies should be expected of people working in their sector of the CME enterprise.

The people behind the idea of certification for CME professionals say it is time to step up, set expectations for competence and performance for people the field, and establish a process by which those expectations can be demonstrated. And they are going about it very carefully following national guidelines for establishing a certifying body and a certification process. They will likely be nationally recognized as a certifying body in the field of CME. They will be independent of the special interests of the CME Professional societies. They will have a carefully constructed certification process that is likely to include a rigorous written examination.

I can imagine hospitals and health systems coming to expect that the people they employ in CME hold a certificate. I would not be surprised to see pharmaceutical companies require that agencies receiving grants and contracts employ certified CME professionals. Hmmmmm. What if the ACCME added a requirement that at least one person employed by an accredited CME provider had to be certified? Far-fetched?

If positioned effectively and developed correctly, certification of CME professionals may change the field. If you are interested in more information about the effort to establish a certification for the CME professional visit I recently interviewed Dr. Judy Ribble, the Executive Director of the National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals. You can download that podcast at:

What do you think?

January 11, 2008 at 10:13 pm Leave a comment


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