My Education Never Stops

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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!

My Nutrition Coach Certification

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Despite the fact that I am a fully licensed and board-certified physician, and also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, I realize that some people get hung up on specific certifications. My education covered nutrition in exhausting detail, which is why I am able to customize meal plans for clients and patients based on a myriad of factors. However, I also obtained a Nutrition Coach certification from NAFC to fortify the credentials I already had.

For those of you who are curious about the course, here are some details:

NAFC’s Nutrition Coach Foundations delivers scientifically-based nutrition education so health and fitness professionals can better serve their clients.

Develop the skills, knowledge and abilities to successfully work with clients seeking goal-based nutritional guidance.
Gain an occupational advantage with enhanced education and a credential to differentiate you from your competition!

NAFC’s Certified Health & Fitness Coaching course blends sound basic science with the latest in nutritional science along with proven coaching skills to help you successfully guide your clients toward better health, better performance, and a better body!

In Section I of this course, you’ll get a strong introduction to the basic sciences; in Section II you’ll become immersed in the field of nutritional science; in Section III you’ll learn about the art & science of being an effective coach; and finally in Section IV you’ll go through a step-by-step set of instructions on how to implement nutritional coaching competently & profitably (including over 30 pages of questionnaires and assessment tools to use with your clients).

No other nutrition certification puts all of these components together. No other nutrition certification was written by a physician with over 35 years of experience in the areas of nutrition, fitness, personal training, anti-aging medicine, and performance enhancement.

The National Association for Fitness Certification was established in 1992 to provide scientifically-based, standards-focused education and training for Group Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, and Wellness Consultants. The NAFC’s combination of demanding standards, practical application of scientific principles, and affordable program pricing have defined it as the most rapidly-expanding certifying organization in the industry today.

The NAFC was established by a forward-thinking group of fitness professionals, representing expertise in fields including Exercise Physiology, Adaptive Physical Education, Medicine and Nursing, and Professional Coaching. Their desire was to enhance current fitness certification standards by providing access to convenient and comprehensive – yet practical and affordable – education and skills.

The NAFC follows guidelines established by the American College of Sports Medicine, emphasizing practical information with respect to a comprehensive knowledge base.