The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education™ defines what continuing medical education activities are certified for credit as:
"Educational activities which serve to maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public."
A broad definition of CME, such as the one above, recognizes as CME all continuing educational activities that assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently. A course in management would be appropriate CME for physicians responsible for managing a health care facility; a course in educational methodology would be appropriate CME for physicians teaching in a medical school; a course in practice management would be appropriate CME for practitioners interested in providing better service to patients.
Not all continuing educational activities will qualify as CME. Worthwhile continuing educational activities that are not directly related to a physician's work are not considered CME. This includes continuing educational activities related to a physician's non-professional educational needs or interests, such as personal financial planning or appreciation of literature or music. On the other hand, CME that addresses issues related to coding and reimbursement in a medical practice would fall within ACCME's definition of CME.
The Oregon Medical Association firmly opposes using a CME event as a tool for advertising or recruiting. Commercial support and device companies are not to be advertised on any material related to the educational portion of a CME event or in the room in which the event is held. All grants must be written by a member of your planning team, and the money must be deposited into a pre-approved account, with Sacred Heart Medical Center listed as the accredited provider. Complete records of all grants must be provided to the CME office at Sacred Heart Medical Center, and any funding request must be in the form of an "unrestricted educational grant."
For more information about CME content and criteria, email Treena Bell or call her at (541) 222-2334.