Online education has become an important component of mainstream education in recent years. Economic and time considerations have gradually lead prospective students to actively search for schools online and find combinations in blended education (a mix of traditional education methodology with online and technology aided learning) that fit their considerations the best.
In recent years professionals have likewise turned to online educational programs as a way of augmenting their knowledge base and capability in the workplace. Specialized training can easily be completed online with the minimal amount of time required for hands-on coursework while classes are conducted in a variety of ways through online portals and can easily be managed to fit individual schedules. The medical profession is one such profession that has embraced online and blended education in a big way.
Treatments, procedures and methodology as well as theory and practical application are all now taught online in various blended structures and while professionals go about their practice, they can now learn from the most brilliant minds in their respective fields at the same time, even if they are half way around the world.
Online CME for Professionals
CME stands for continuing medical education, that is, a form of continuing education through which medical professionals refresh their knowledge and learn about the new developments in their fields. CME activities take place in the form of classroom/seminar events as well as through publications, online courses and other electronic media such as DVD, Video/audio presentations.
CME in North America
CME has become a necessity in many parts of the US, for instance, Arizona State requires 40 hours of CME study every two years in order for practitioners of medicine to maintain their licenses. Within the US, CME for medical professionals is regulated by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Osteopathic Association.
CME in Canada
400 credits of CME are required every five years, with at least 40 in each year. The certification is provided by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The RCPSC certifies its members, specialist physicians, through the Maintenance of Certification Programs.
Types of instruction
* In online CME, professionals are most likely to encounter the following formats of instruction;
* Text and graphic journals (like reading a textbook)
* Slide-audio/video lectures (Like attending a seminar or lecture)
* Case-based online interactive learning (where students make decisions according to the case study and clinical presentation)
* Quiz questions and answers (computer programs ask questions and provide correct explanations and information in accordance with the answers)
* Correspondence courses (a group of doctors study similar modules and correspond with each other, sharing knowledge and experience).
Online CME Costs
Online CME is very affordable. This affordability is compounded by the fact that the usual benefits of online education, and the freedom it provides professionals, applies to online medical education as well and therefore reduces the overall cost of CME.
3500+ hours of CME conducted over the internet is free.
18000+ hours of online CME costs as low as $5-$15 per hour.
A few specialist courses are more expensive than $15 per hour due to the nature of the training.