For those of you who think that physicians are done with educational pursuits once they complete the rigors of medical school and residency, think again. We must complete continuing medical education credits (aka CME’s) for the length of our medical careers. This means that we must attend conferences and seminars, take online courses, complete quizzes in medical journals and take recertification exams to retain our board certification. Such CME’s aren’t cheap either. The average cost of each credit hour is $25, so when you multiply that by the 150 hours required in each three year cycle for board certified physicians like me, $3,750 has flown out of your wallet, and that doesn’t take into account the association dues for the governing sites which offer the most desirable and relevant CME credits.
Today I decided to chisel away at my ongoing requirements and took two online CME courses. The first was on diabetic foot ulcers and was quite graphic and disgusting, but since I am required to know how to treat this condition, I tolerated the images which flashed on the computer screen. I then took a course on gastrointestinal disorders which was far less graphic but yielded valuable information which was a great review for me. At the end of my two hour review, I received two CME credit hours which will be counted toward the 150 total hours I will need to accumulate by the end of 2015. I wish I could do most of my CME credits online, but there are limits on online coursework. What that basically means is that I am forced to participate in live courses, which means that I must figure out what courses my schedule will accommodate. In addition, live courses are significantly more expensive. I was investigating medical conferences yesterday and discovered that one major conference would set me back by $1,400 just for the registration alone! Since I cannot afford that conference, I must get creative and find other options which aren’t nearly as expensive.
I research CME opportunities every few months for the most respected and accessible opportunities, so I feel confident that I will find cost-effective ways of fortifying my medical knowledge while fulfilling my CME credits before the end of the current cycle. Since I also recently obtained an NAFC Nutrition Coach Certification, I will need to keep up on CEC’s for that as well. Oh, the learning never ends!