9 Criteria Physicians Consider When Choosing a CME Activity
9 Criteria Physicians Consider When Choosing a CME Activity
July 13, 2022 by eMedEvents

Physicians—along with every other healthcare professional—must constantly bolster their existing medical knowledge with Continuing Medical Education (CME), which encompasses the breakthroughs and technological updates that happen every single day within the healthcare world. Choosing the best CME activity for their licensure renewal requirements is pivotal to the continuation of their careers.

As a CME provider, it is essential to know what types of activities physicians generally prefer and why. While a variety of elements come into play, and many of which are specific to the individual physician, the most important overarching factors have to do with topic relevance, time allowance to complete the activity, and content quality.

If you have struck all of those notes yet still notice undesirable registration numbers, then consider these nine criteria and adjust your CME content accordingly.

1. In-Person vs. Online

Whether your activity is live or virtual, physicians need flexibility when it comes to structure and scheduling. From there, however, each method has different requirements that make them more desirable to those looking to earn credits.

In-Person

  • Times & days – Consider the days of the week when planning your event and select convenient times that are not overtly intrusive to either the physician’s practice or their daily schedules.
  • Flexibility – It is unlikely that any one physician will be present for the full duration of your event due to their pre-existing obligations. Therefore, you will want to offer flexibility in terms of the dates your event will take place.
  • Length – Many physicians will be traveling to your event; bear in mind that they will want to enjoy the location while they are there, and schedule the lengths of your conferences appropriately.

Online

  • Adaptability – Because online activities are not locked into a set schedule like in-person events, CME providers have the luxury of being able to offer the most up-to-date information available. Remain adaptive and ensure your content has taken into account all current knowledge on the topic.
  • Time allowance – Allocate your physicians enough time to fully understand the material and allow them the ability to go back and review anything they may have misunderstood during their first watch.
  • Availability – It is impossible to cater to every single physician’s busy schedule; by making your online content available 24/7 during its lifespan, that is not something you need to worry about. This will also allow physicians to complete your content at their own pace.

2. Location

For in-person events, physicians will check to see if your chosen venue is local or in a desirable location that they consider worth the trip. However, there are a wide range of preferences to try to manage when selecting your location. Some healthcare professionals enjoy having CME events in multiple cities around the country, in venues that are close to airports. Others prefer a variety of specialty-specific conferences in a single, desirable destination with a schedule that allows for free time.

3. Activity Details

Marketing must be taken into consideration when it comes to advertising the details of your activity to your target healthcare professionals. For in-person events, physicians prefer to know important information well in advance, such as dates, times, and location. For both in-person and online activities, it is crucial to make your topic known, along with what aspects of that topic your content will cover in-depth.

4. Credentials

Potential registrants must prioritize the welfare of their careers first; in the interest of that, they will look at CME providers’ credentials as well as the credentials of their speakers. Freely listing your credentials goes hand-in-hand with providing details regarding your activity’s learning objectives and teaching methods.

Furthermore, you must include information on certification and the credits physicians will earn by completing your activity.

5. Alumni Opinion

Word of mouth is a potent tool that can either hurt or help your marketing endeavors. Never outrule the possibility that potential registrants will ask former attendees their opinions on your content. After ensuring the best experience possible during your actual event, it will prove beneficial to reach out to attendees after the fact for detailed feedback, which can help highlight areas of improvement for next time.

6. Variety

It is important to avoid pigeonholing yourself when it comes to your CME content. To optimize your chances of success, offer a range of educational materials for different topics within your chosen specialties or professions. Not only will this provide new registrants an ample opportunity to find something that suits their specific needs, it also increases the chances of drawing former attendees back for more—especially if their previous experience had been a satisfying one.

7. Career Advancement Opportunities

Many physicians seek to advance and optimize their practices, and this reflects in their choice of CME content. Oftentimes, they will opt for activities that they believe will facilitate career advancement opportunities by furnishing them with skills and knowledge that are currently in demand within their respective fields.

8. Price

Budget constraints must always be taken into consideration when promoting a CME activity. Content with a high price tag must always offer enough value to compensate; this value can come in the form of robust learning objectives, a satisfactory number of credits earned, or other perks such as a discount on hotel bookings.

9. Accreditation Requirements

CME accreditation requirements vary for each organizer, but these requirements determine the manner of content each organizer can provide, such as seminars, tutorials, or web-based assessments. Similarly, physicians are beholden to the licensure requirements of their state medical board, which may dictate the activities they must complete for renewal. For example, a physician may need to complete an activity that follows the Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI CME) format, which will not be available from every CME provider.

Conclusion

CME serves a dual purpose for most physicians: they are satisfying a career requirement while also developing new knowledge and skills to enhance their level of patient care. However, these are not the only outcomes that can be obtained through CME, with many physicians choosing to pursue a path to lower healthcare costs for themselves and their patients through the new methods and technologies offered by CME.

If you are a healthcare professional who is struggling to find the CME best suited to your needs, visit eMedEvents.com, where information about upcoming educational activities, event speakers, accreditation, and travel deals are available to you on a single platform.

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