Continuing Medical Education (CME) and life long learning must be part of a busy PA’s clinical life to keep up with the ever changing knowledge of medical practice. Maintaining NCCPA certification requires logging 100 hours of CME every two years. At least 50 hours must be category I from one of the following sponsors: AAPA, AMA, ACCME, AOACCME or AAFP. Every six years, PAs must take the re-certification exam (PANRE) with primary care content.
Electronic CME (e-CME) in digital audio, text, or video format is an inexpensive method to acquire valuable category I hours, avoid travel expenses, and complete lifelong learning goals when time permits. CME content can be streamed to a internet connected PC, downloaded or podcasted to a MP3 audio player, PDA /smart phone, or viewed on a PC using CD-ROM, DVD, or thumb drive media.
The Internet provides several CME opportunities for cat I hours that can be conveniently completed at home or work on a flexible schedule. The AAPA website at www.AAPA.org offers several free CME programs including web cast lectures from the annual AAPA meeting and home study courses. The JAAPA website at www.JAAPA.com has several online CME articles and post-tests. A web e-CME super list is provided and maintained at www.cmelist.com by Bernard Skylar, MD, MS. There are over 300 medical CME sites with over 22,000 hours of AMA category 1 CME cataloged by specialty, price, type of activity, sponsorship, date posted and a review by Dr Skylar. Some of the best primary care and multispecialty web sites with free CME include:
PDAs, smart phones and MP3 players allow busy clinicians to get CME on the go, in the clinic, in between patients, and during commutes to work. These are short summaries of general medical topics with a post-test. Some PDA-smart phone programs that are free and document your CME time include:
Audio MP3 podcasts can be an efficient hands free method of CME available for many digital devices. A few of the many sources to consider are:
Timesaver CME tracking Tip- Use your PDA calendar - date book function to track your hours by entering “CME” in the appointment title, location, sponsor, and hours on the date you did the activity. At the end of the year when it is time to log your CME hours, do a search for the key word “CME” and a list by date will appear.