For the healthcare provider, education doesn’t end at the degree. Instead, it’s just the beginning. Medical professionals need to continue learning throughout our careers if the aim is to provide the highest possible level of patient care, advance in our profession, and witness our industry evolve. Our roles require years of continuous training and nonstop expansion of knowledge.
Endless learning is the very objective of our continued medical education, or CME. It is a crucial piece to the prosperity of healthcare practitioners — it allows us to discover viable methods to improve patient care and effectively manage a career in the ever-changing landscape of medicine. The requirements or acceptable levels of CME vary across medical disciplines, but the goal remains the same regardless of the specialty or scope of practice.
We should and are always seeking ways to enhance how we care for patients and innovate within our industry as the byproduct is too vital not to. When the medical field increases in knowledge, skill, and application — health improves, cures are discovered, and lives are saved.
An example of seeing this effect as an outcome of engaging in continued medical education is a concept called Shared Decision-Making(SDM). Andrea Funk, Vice President, Education at the Global Education Group, joins us on the FOCUS on POCUS™ podcast and addresses the rise in SDM interest among healthcare providers. It appears we are becoming more informed about this concept through CME. She describes this phenomenon as, “Something moving forward within continual medical education that we’ve seen substantial growth in.”
This unique approach — SDM is a process that includes both the physician and patient developing the most beneficial care plan collectively. This method allows the involvement of patients in making decisions related to their care. It brings patients into discussions regarding their healthcare treatments and allows for open discussions. SDM is growing in interest and deployment because it has been beneficial for both parties.
SDM places patients in the driver’s seat throughout the decision-making process, while their provider informs them along the way with the facts, risks, and rewards. Our peers do this all the while placing their regard and subjective preferences to the side.
It is reported that when patient preferences are at the center of the decision-making process, they experience greater satisfaction and less decisional regret than when decisions are made on their behalf. We can empower patients to become more engaged in their treatment and help them experience their own values integrated into their care, bolstering the results.
Greater successful results. Who can argue with that? Thanks to continued medical education, we can expect to achieve more wins than losses during our careers. CME is instrumental in helping us maintain our skills and discover new ones, like SDM tools. Many states require us to earn CME credits to renew our licenses, but we gain so much more than license maintenance. We fulfill our professional requirements while building our knowledge in patient-centric, advanced medicine.
“With the increase in CME and the popularity of it, a lot of specialists stay on top of what’s the latest and greatest even if it’s not their specialty area. If it’s something they just want to know about, it’s definitely an avenue for them to gander some knowledge and further their own practice,” reminds Ms. Funk.
Tune in to the full The Importance of Continuing Medical Education episode, and hear more about how continued medical education proceeds to shape and mold us and medicine into the future.