Continuing medical education (CME) allows physicians to learn new and developing areas in the medical field. Through CME programs, physicians can maintain competence. CME programs consist of educational activities that provide life-long learning opportunities.
Canada has around 17 medical schools spread across the country. Physicians have several options in CME programs. To make things smooth for you, we have provided tips to choose the right plan for continuing medical education in Canada.
Choose the Way of Studying
The way of studying is an essential aspect of CME programs. You can sign up for a CME course online and learn at your own pace. If you have an accredited institute in your area, you enroll for a CME program at the institute. The ACCME or Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education has a list of CME program providers. There are around 2000 CME program providers throughout Canada.
Look for Courses That Offer the Potential for Growth
There are hundreds of CME programs to choose from. It will help if you find out which medical skills are highly sought-after in the medical field. Choose a course that offers the highest potential growth. Currently, psychiatry, internal medicine, and family medicine are the most popular specialties in the country. These specialties are in high demand, and you would have more job opportunities.
Find Out the Eligibility of the CME Program
The eligibility for continuing medical education in Canada can differ between service providers. Some institutes only take resident doctors for the CME program. You need to check the provider website for the eligibility of the program.
Check the Credentials of the Learning Provider
Every CME provider is different. It is an absolute necessity before signing up for a CME program. You need to review their instructional methods, assessments, tasks, and outcomes. Such information is generally available on the provider’s website. If you can’t find it, you need to contact them to get this info.
Here, you can also ask about the accreditations from bodies like RCPSA (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada), CFPC (The College of Family Physicians of Canada), FMOQ (Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec), CCEP (Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy), CAO (Canadian Association of Optometrists), or CAN (Canadian Nurses Association) in the country.
Speak to Alumni
Speaking to medical students who have earlier enrolled in the CME program at the institute is a good idea. This will provide you with deeper insights into the program and the service provider. You can ask alumni about specific feedback.
For example, you can ask about teaching methods or learning processes. Sermo is an exclusive social network with physicians’ only community in Canada. The social network opens doors to Canada’s 77,000 physicians. It is a virtual doctor’s lounge which can be useful for authentic discussions. Also, it is a great place to start and find recommendations for the best CME courses.
Consider the cost of the Program
The CME program fees are determined by different factors like the service provider and the CME program. The average CME fee range in Canada is $20 to $50 per credit hour. According to a leading industry report, ordinary CME courses require 15 to 50 credit hours.
Some institutes offer to fund the CME program, but it has some eligibility conditions. You need to choose a CME program that fits in your budget and meets your long-term career goals.
Visit Campus or Contact by Phone
If you’re planning to enroll for a CME program at an institute, visit their campus. It will help you find more about the program you want to pursue. A visit to campus will present you with an opportunity to meet tutors and tour classrooms.
If you are joining an online CME program, you can call the service provider and ask questions. The questions should be focused on getting more information about the CME program than what is present on their website. Do all these before signing up for the course online. You can ask about course content, entry requirements, accreditations, and incentives.
Find Out About CME Activities
Canada is one of the most favourable places for medical students. Each year, 2900 students graduate from 17 medical schools. There are around 3300 post-graduate positions available across all disciplines. The activities required for CME accreditation depends on a service provider. It can include web-assessments, tutorials, seminars, conferences, and other study events. These activities focus on the performance improvement of physicians in a medical environment.
Ongoing medical education is essential for people in the medical field. The tips given in the post provide a guideline for selecting the right CME program, and they will help you focus on essential aspects of the program selection process.