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Creating Effective and Efficient Pediatric-Specific CME Content

More than Just Checking a Box

Nelson, Benjamin A. MD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Winter 2019 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 64–68
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000237

Abstract: States dictate the type of continuing medical education (CME) required for licensing; however, CME providers are not mandated to create content relevant to all specialties. This often forces pediatricians to engage in educational activities that are irrelevant to their practice. This is contrary to what constitutes effective CME. The goal was to develop pediatric content using adult learning theory that aligns with effective CME principles while simultaneously satisfying state licensure requirements. A targeted needs assessment of pediatric providers revealed that pediatric-specific CME activities satisfying the state's requirement for pain management and end-of-life issues were lacking. Webinars adhering to adult learning principles were created in consultation with content experts. Five hundred ninety-seven learners across 30 states successfully completed the webinars and received CME credit. To satisfy ongoing state licensing requirements, 44% of learners had completed similar activities in the past, but 72% of those learners participated in activities focused on adult medicine due to the lack of available pediatric modules. Until states and regulators allow for more flexibility in satisfying licensing requirements, it will be incumbent on those who create CME to develop educational activities that satisfy state requirements while aligning with the principles of effective CME. With strategic planning, this is possible and will hopefully empower physicians to engage in CME without resorting to “checking a box.”

Dr. Nelson: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Program Director, Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship MGHfC, and Associate Director CME, Department of Pediatrics MGHfC. Department of Pediatrics, MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Boston, MA.

Correspondence: Benjamin A. Nelson, MD, 5th Floor, 175 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114; e-mail:

Disclosures: The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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