Message from the CEO: Opening Doors

December 15, 2016
Posted by: 
Patty Harrison

In engaging with our continuing medical education (CME) community across the country, I’m continually impressed with the work you are doing to drive quality in post-graduate medical education, support clinicians in their quest for lifelong learning, and improve care for the patients we all serve. Most impressive is your aspiration to always do better. Together, we are changing the meaning of CME by expanding the flexibility, inclusiveness, and diversity of education.

This past year, you’ve greatly expanded the opportunities for physicians to participate in education that counts for multiple requirements, thus reducing burdens and allowing clinicians more flexibility in choosing education that meets their needs. In just over a year since the launch of the collaboration between the ACCME and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), accredited CME providers registered more than 5,000 activities that count for ABIM MOC in the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS); and close to 45,000 physicians have earned more than two million MOC points. Almost 2,500 activities, currently available for CME that counts for ABIM MOC, are listed in CME Finder, which provides a centralized location for doctors to find practice-relevant activities. And in the last few months, CME providers have started registering 2017 activities for the MOC programs of the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Pediatrics. 

Last week, at our Annual State/Territory Medical Society Conference, accreditor leaders from around the country worked together to develop action plans for incorporating innovation into CME in their states. These strategies will help providers respond proactively to emerging issues specific to their region and support the delivery of education for clinicians serving in rural and urban communities across a diverse range of practice types and settings.

Our Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation represents your vision of the future of CME. In my interactions with you, I’ve seen your enthusiasm about using these criteria as a blueprint for your strategic plans, as a means of charting the way forward. From engaging with students, patients, and teams to tackling population and public health issues, providers that meet these criteria will show the power of education to respond to the changing healthcare environment. 

When I speak to healthcare leaders, I explain that CME has the capacity to address many of the challenges we face, from clinician well-being to quality and safety imperatives. Education has been underutilized, in part because of misperceptions, but those attitudes are changing – and I’ll continue to communicate why your work matters.

As the year draws to a close, take the time to reflect on and celebrate your own achievements. Asked what brings her joy and pride in her work, a jointly accredited provider responded: “I really feel like we're at the forefront of leading the nation in transforming healthcare, and that's really exciting to be a part of that. And certainly I'm most proud of the outcomes that we've been able to improve for our patients.” 

I’m inspired every day by your accomplishments – and I and we at ACCME will continue to do everything we can to support your growth, innovation, and leadership. Our goal as an accreditor is to open doors for you, so you can open doors for your communities of learners, patients, and families.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc
President and Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
(312) 527-9200