::CME: Keeping up to date ::
Planning your CME activities
It is all to easy to get lost in the daily tasks of service provision in the NHS. Planning your CME activities well in advance can help ensure you don't miss out. Discuss your plans with your educational supervisor . Find out what activities are available locally - grand rounds, journal clubs and clinical meetings are a good starting point. Look out for notices concerning national and international courses and conferences. These may be advertised in your Postgraduate Centre or in relevant journals. Book study leave early on.
There are certain skills and knowledge that are best learnt from observation and practice (under supervision) - like performing a cholecystectomy or inserting a central line. By comparison, there are subject areas that can be effectively learnt by distance learning. An increasing number of doctors are using the internet or CD-Rom-based interactive learning products as part of their CME - eCME. There are many excellent websites offering free (or reasonably priced) educational resources on almost any topic imaginable. The best sites have up to date material that has been checked for medical accuracy and is fully referenced. The advantages of eCME include the flexibility to learn at your own pace, at a time and place convenient to you , and often at greatly reduced cost. Interactive self assessment lets you gauge your progress. On successful completion of a module, most sites will allow you to print a certificate to add to your appraisal folder. The interactive nature of these products may help you learn more effectively; some doctors even find eCME enjoyable!
A lifelong journey
CME is an essential part of the lifelong journey a doctor makes throughout their career. It is a necessary step to getting through appraisal and revalidation, but more importantly, it is part of becoming a better doctor. If we wish to give our patients the best service, we must make sure that our skills and knowledge are up to date.