Expanding Our Continuing Medical Education
Dana Kellis, MD, SVP, CMO, Hospital Division
Every day, thousands of pages of medical literature are published. The rate of change of medical science exceeds that of other fields and is increasing rapidly year after year. No one person can read and assimilate this vast amount of information; even staying current in one’s own specialty is nearly impossible and requires discipline and dedication.
Nevertheless, despite the difficulty of the task, physicians are expected to practice state-of-the-art medicine, giving their patients the best care that medical science has to offer. Thus, physicians are increasingly faced with the dilemma of trying to learn and understand the latest discoveries in their field, while simultaneously dealing with the demands of their busy practices.
It used to be that physicians could take their family on a vacation for a week or so and attend CME classes in a comfortable resort. While that can still be helpful and relaxing, it is unlikely to be sufficient to fulfill the needs of most active practitioners.
To help fill the gap, BayCare has developed active CME programs at its larger hospitals, and is working to expand the reach and content of its physician education programs even further.
Morton Plant, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, and Winter Haven Hospitals have all developed accredited CME programs that offer accredited CME on a weekly or monthly basis. These programs are led by dedicated physicians working with their local staff to ensure physicians are given high-quality programs that focus on areas of interest to the general medical staff. Most have achieved accreditation with commendation for their CME programs and for their attention to the many details that go into creating creditable, useful programs.
Nevertheless, we haven’t as yet systematized CME, meaning that the programs and content at one hospital have not been easily accessible to physicians at other BayCare hospitals, and have not lent themselves easily to system-wide education. We have also been relatively restricted in the breadth of content presented by these programs to areas of interest for the general medical staff and, in some cases, some of the larger departments.
Physician Advisory Committee
Under Dr. Terry Bradley’s leadership and direction, and with the assistance of many physician and medical staff office leaders, we are on the cusp of significantly expanding BayCare’s CME capabilities.
We have formed a system-wide CME Physician Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from each of the existing hospital-based committees, and administrative and physician leadership. And now we are actively pursuing accreditation by the FMA as a unified system.
This will allow us to:
Ensure that CME programs are accessible to physicians across the system;
Work with service lines and collaborative groups to create CME programs that fulfill the needs of both large and small segments of the medical staff;
Establish credibility and awareness of BayCare as a regional - and even national - leader in medical care as our CME programs attract physicians from other parts of the nation;
Continue the tradition of hospital-specific CME programs customized to the needs of individual hospitals under the guidance of the traditional hospital-based CME committees, which will continue to function as they have become accustomed;
Help individual physicians save time and money by offering a greater spectrum of high-quality education locally and;
Work with Quality and other departments to ensure CME programs are integrated into our overall strategy to achieve excellence across the system.
We look forward to working with each of the members of our medical staffs to ensure our CME programs meet their expectations to the extent that is possible, and reach a high level of excellence in education.
If you have suggestions, insights, or wish to be a part of the CME physician advisory committee, or its subcommittees, please let me at Dana s or Maritza de or your medical staff president know.