Medicine From The Trenches

Experiences from undergradute, graduate school, medical school, residency and beyond.

Continuing Medical Education

During the summer, I attempt to ramp up my efforts to complete as much continuing medical education as possible. During the academic year, it seems as if time gets away from me and I find myself busier and busier. Continuing medical education (CME) is a great way to refresh one’s knowledge of basic science while learning new information that will be of benefit to the patient’s in my practice.

I strive to keep work on my internal medicine knowledge as well as my surgical knowledge because my patients often have complex medical problems that send them to my care as a result of complications. While I have no problem consulting my family medicine and internal medicine colleagues for assistance in patient management, I need to be a vigilant as possible in the total care of the patient.

CME is far from being a chore for me because I love the learning process. It was the constant quest to learn how medicine and surgery works, that drew me to medical study in the first place. One becomes familiar with the volume of information in medical school but comfortable with the constant upgrading of one’s basic knowledge base in practice. I have found that every time I read even familiar information, I gain new insight and strategy for providing better care.

Certainly, one hates to be forced to do anything which is why the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements became an expensive burden especially for newer physicians who are already struggling with heavy debt from medical school and pressure to build a practice. Most physicians are employees of large health care groups which adds to the pressure of practice building and maintenance. There are only 24 hours in a day; time becomes a precious commodity.

Finding a schedule that will allow one to keep up with journal reading, CME and MOC can become an added burden to already long hours and stressful work. Again, finding a balance becomes more and more important in order to have a lifestyle that can be enjoyed. Additionally, one does need precious “down-time” for mental sanity these days.

I don’t use my vacation time for CME or MOC as I need the vacation time for taking time away from academics and medicine. As I am older now, I appreciate my vacation time as valuable to my practice and teaching. There are few points for suffering in medicine on the part of physicians. This suffering can lead to “burn out” which isn’t good for anyone physically or mentally.

In closing, my recommendations are to find some manner of CME/MOC that works within and compliments one’s schedule. Take some time and try many methods of obtaining the hours that are needed for licensure. The worst stress comes with putting of CME until the last hours which like anything last-minute, becomes more stressful. Embrace the reinforcement of learning and find something that’s enjoyable, just like exercise, something that one can incorporate into one’s life on a regular basis.


28 July, 2017 - Posted by | medical school, medicine, practice of medicine |


  1. A public service announcement on CME and a medical license: state boards are incredibly literal about the requirements. (I know you are aware of this but I thought I would pass this on for the younger crowd.) A colleague completed the required 3 credit hours on “drug diversion.” Unfortunately for him, he did it at 10:00 pm on June 30th rather than after 1 July as required. After he was selected for an audit, he was “caught”, received a decent fine that reverberated to license actions (“reprimands”) in the other state’s he was licensed in.

    As I said, state boards are incredibly literal and strict about the requirements. Phrases like “just the same”, “as good as”, and “equivalent to” don’t sway many medical boards.

    Comment by drvandalia | 20 September, 2017 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on noonbadawy's Blog.

    Comment by n7badawy | 18 August, 2017 | Reply

  3. CME is something I struggle with as a relatively new physician. I make time to go to at least one conference per year, but I struggle to change CME a regular habit. Hopefully it’ll get easier as I get more experience and get more efficient at my work.

    Comment by solitarydiner016 | 28 July, 2017 | Reply

    • It’s a real struggle especially for newer attending physicians. This is why the MOC is an added burden. The costs of those conferences adds up if you are not affiliated with a larger teaching facility where they are often free to affiliates.

      Comment by drnjbmd | 28 July, 2017 | Reply

  4. Very helpful advice as always! Thank you!

    Comment by Potential Doctor | 28 July, 2017 | Reply

    • Thank you for reading. I am trying to keep something out here that is current along with things to think about for the future.

      Comment by drnjbmd | 28 July, 2017 | Reply

Leave a Reply or ask a Question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: