The New Era of CME Programs

Continuing medical education (CME) programs remain an important tool for clinicians to stay current on new drugs, trials, treatment protocols, and matters related to healthcare delivery and administration.

COVID changed the way CME is delivered and accessed . Now, physicians can elect to attend in person, or to conveniently stream virtually in real time . Does this mean the end of the in-person CME world? Certainly not.

Diabetes Update (DU), now in its 9th year, focuses on current and upcoming developments in diabetes. For almost a decade, specialists and general practitioners have chosen DU as a venue for scientific exchange and collaboration on the latest trials, guidelines, innovations, and technology in diabetes.

For the first seven years, DU followed a traditional in-person mode of delivery of CME, then two years of virtual mode due to covid. This year, DU returns with a hybrid model with the option to attend virtually or in person in downtown Toronto.

A recent survey found that although specialists and physicians appreciate being able to select between in-person and virtual CME, some still prefer the in-person format due to its unique benefits. Physicians are willing to attend in-person events, provided that precautions are taken (masks, vaccinations, etc.).

Survey trends:

According to the report, one of the biggest advantages of attending in-person was the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals. This, physicians say, is difficult to accomplish otherwise, due to conflicting schedules outside of the conference. CME provides the opportunity to exchange ideas, research findings, clinical experiences, and converse in a manner that digital platforms lack.

For early-career physicians, the opportunity to meet and interact with their heroes in person is worth the effort. In turn, mentors and specialists can identify and recruit young promising talent.

What our HCPs are saying…

Dr. Jeff Habert, DU planning committee member, is particularly excited for this year’s format. ‘Diabetes Update (DU) has constantly evolved over the years to meet the needs of the diabetes HCP community, especially in consideration of the last 2 years of the Pandemic. It provides innovative solutions that ensure new information is readily accessible to physicians and specialists. It will be interesting to see how we interact as it moves towards creating a hybrid model for education (both live and virtual). Personally, I will attend DU 2022 in-person, but I am also excited about the ability to interact with distant audiences as if they are present in the room’.

Jeffrey Habert MD CCFP FCFP
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Dept. of Family Community Medicine

DU22 will take place at the InterContinental Centre Toronto on April 29th and April 30th, 2022 in downtown Toronto. Individuals can register HERE to attend in-person or virtually.

It appears that the in-person CME modality is here to stay as it offers unique advantages in terms of interaction and sharing of knowledge. With evolving hybrid model, physicians can continue to develop their expertise in a convenient manner.

References

iSchulte, T.L., Groning, T., Ramsauer, B., Weimann, J., Pin, M., Jerusalem, K., Sami, R., 2021. Impact of COVID-19 on Continuing Medical Education- Results of an Online Survey Among Users of a Non-Profit Multi-Specialty Live Online Education Platform. Front. Med.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.773806

iiHughes J. F., 2021. Pandemic Forces CME, Medical Conferences to Evolve. Physician Sense. Published on August 27, 2021 on
https://www.mdlinx.com/physiciansense/pandemic-forces-cme-medical-conferences-to-evolve/