Evolution of Continuing Medical Education

Journal of the American Medical Association (01/22/18) McMahon, Graham T.; Skochelak, Susan E.

A viewpoint piece discusses how to promote innovation in continuing medical education (CME) through regulatory alignment. Authors Graham T. McMahon, MD, MMSc, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and Susan E. Skochelak, MD, American Medical Association (AMA), write that their organizations "collaborated on a strategy to more closely align the two organizations' requirements, simplify the system and eliminate any barriers (perceived or real) that would constrain innovation in educational delivery." Based on listening sessions with a number of groups, such as staff and leadership from accredited organizations and state medical societies, and feedback from physicians and educators about how to reconstruct the system better to support the evolution of CME, a joint construct was developed to address those objectives. AMA and ACCME subsequently adopted the proposal, which went into effect last September. The alignment of AMA and ACCME values has been integrated into the existing accreditation and reaccreditation processes, meaning that accredited CME providers that demonstrate compliance with ACCME requirements are considered as having met AMA's core requirements. McMahon and Skochelak also note that ACCME, in collaboration with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the American Nurses Credentialing Center, developed the first joint accreditation system to facilitate interprofessional continuing education. They write, "This program can serve as a model for accreditors in the health professions for developing systems that promote and facilitate team-based education by removing barriers between professions and expanding the delivery of interprofessional continuing education to facilitate measurable improvements in team performance." In conclusion, the authors assert that success will require identifying any needs and gaps in CME and adopting approaches that "reflect the same innovative spirit and nimbleness that is expected of educational providers."

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