Becoming a physician, nurse or other health care specialist requires many years of education. But the learning doesn’t stop once a license and board certification have been earned and practice begins—learning continues by way of continued medical education, or CME.

CME is crucial to the prosperity of health care providers—it allows a practitioner to learn and discover viable ways to improve on the patient care they deliver and effectively manage a career in the ever-changing landscape of the medical industry. The requirements or acceptable level of CME vary across medical disciplines, but they are equally important no matter the specialty or scope of practice in which a provider is engaged. Continuing medical education allows health care providers to:

  • Refine skills to improve overall patient care
  • Stay current with the latest developments within their specialty
  • Address real-world challenges that health care professionals face day to day
  • Gain professional growth and a means to advance career status
  • Meet licensing/certification requirements
  • Learn effective medical team management skills
  • Earn membership in professional organizations

There are many continuing medical education program choices available. In order for a CME program to be viable in meeting licensing and credentialing requirements, the program must be accredited.

The premier CME accrediting agency is the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The ACCME accredits over 2,000 CME providers as approved for offering continuing medical education programming and courses. This includes 700 independent agencies and 1,300 state-based organizations. The ACCME is committed to ensuring that medical practitioners have access to quality learning opportunities and a solid means to obtain and meet licensing and credentialing requirements. ACCME’s accreditation ensures that a CME program meets rigorous high standards of relevance, effectiveness and independence for today’s medical practitioners. Additionally, the American Osteopathic Association offers CME accreditation to facilities and programs that support osteopathic medicine.

Choosing the right certification program doesn’t have to be difficult, but should be done wisely to ensure that it will help you achieve your goals. Select a program that offers a diverse collection of courses, allowing for growth within your specialty and advancement beyond, if desired.

Remember that it’s good practice for any health care provider to protect their hard-earned career by purchasing personal Professional Liability Insurance. Read more about the importance of Professional Liability Insurance for allied health care professionals in the Helpful Info section of our website.