With school closures and CME conferences cancelled, due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic, medical students are finding it harder than ever to receive the proper credits/credentials they need to become a full practicing professional. A stay-at-home order, however, is not a death sentence for a medical students, there are plenty of productive ways students can use their time, to make sure they are well equipped to take on their professional journey. Students can take online CME classes, or plan future trips to live CME conferences, for when the pandemic is over.
It’s important to remember this pandemic won’t last forever, with most experts agreeing that this virus will most likely be gone by the beginning of next year, which means public events, such as CME conferences will continue. If you prefer a more hands-on method to your medical education, than it would be vital to use this time to research your next live CME conference. Chances are if you wanted to attend a CME conference this year, it was cancelled and was rescheduled for a date later this year, or next year. Check with the events organizers and see when they personally would like to host their event. Take this time to budget your trip, start setting money aside for traveling expenses, assuming your employer will not cover it. Research what speakers are at each event, what the concentration is for each conference, how many people are attending (for connection purposes), the cost of classes and the location of the CME event. These should all be factors that are considered, when choosing which live conference will benefit you the most.
Online CME education:
For those who don’t mind doing most of their learning behind a desktop, or in a virtual classroom, make the most of your stay at home time, by taking online CME courses. While there are many benefits to using online CME courses rather than live ones, the main difference you will notice, is the how much money you save taking online CME courses. With diligent research you can find courses offered for free, or with significantly reduced prices. If you don’t mind forking over a little cash, many websites offer exclusive benefits to their paying members, such as unlimited CME credits for an entire year. Online CMEs also allow you to take as many classes as you want and complete them at your own pace. The best part of an online CME education, is if you would like to attend a live CME conference, but cannot afford it, you can always stream it from your computer. You will hear the same lectures, receive the same note slides and be given the same information as someone who attended the event.
COVID-19 may have changed your CME education plans, but it doesn’t have to be for the worse. Use this time to get a head start, determine which method of education works best for you, and start a plan for how you can still accomplish your medical goals this year.