CME or Continuing Medical Education is a way for those in the medical field to continue their education and maintain, if not exceed, their competencies as a professional. Also, CME aims to keep medical professional up-to-date with latest developments and upcoming technologies in their specific fields. Activities under CME widely vary - from written publications to online discussion. The content of all the programs and activities conducted for the sake of CME are developed and reviewed by faculty members who are masters in their clinical areas. Generally speaking, the content of CME is a body of skills and knowledge recognized and accepted by professionals as necessary to improve health care delivery to the public.
Needless to say, CME is extremely important to you, if you want - as a medical professional - to continually provide good quality care to your patients. If there is one known fact by human beings, it is that "change is inevitable." Medications that were believed to be effective before may no longer work today; in the same way that illnesses that were incurable before may easily be remedied with an aspirin. Continuous and rigorous CME will make sure that you are not left out in this ever-changing world of medicine.
If you think that only physicians are required to take CME, you are sadly mistaken and misinformed. Everyone in the medical field - from the physicians to nurses - is encouraged to undergo CME. Bear in mind that patients are cared for by a team of health care professionals; a "team" and not a single physician. No one in the medical field can stand on his or her own. For the team to work as a well-oiled machine, each member must be up to date on all the advances in his or her profession.
There are a lot of sources for CME. This can come as a managerial course if you are to take on more managerial tasks; when a staff nurse becomes a head nurse, for example. CME can also be achieved in attending seminars or workshops discussing a new device that can cure or treat diseases. In fact, it can be as simple as reading published research in the most recent issue of a medical journal. The possibilities are limitless if you are open to learning new things.
Aside from the fact that you undeniably gain more knowledge and skills regarding your profession through continuing medical education, this is also necessary in the maintenance of your certification as a professional. It does not matter if you are a nurse, anesthesiologists, or a physical therapist, everyone will be required to meet specific standards in order to maintain his or her certification; and one of those requirements is CME.
I believe, however, that the most important benefit a professional can gain from CME is the increased confidence in ensuring patient's welfare and safety. I know how many risks we, medical professionals, face every day. No matter how much we try to carry out our responsibilities as flawlessly as possible, there will be moments wherein we will be hindered by our human limitations. However, by staying on top of your CME requirements, you can decrease that risks substantially.
Some may complain that CME conferences, seminars, and papers eat up some of their free time, and some courses can be quite expensive; however, as a medical professional, it is our duty to stay up-to-date in order to ensure quality patient care in the 21st Century.