We now live in a world where competition is everything; even kindergartners are taught at an early age that no one should settle for second best. More often than not, the people who most likely succeed in this world are those who have the most education. I think we all agree that getting continuing medical education is vital if we want to climb the career ladder; I guess the biggest question is “How?” How can medical professionals – with our crazy work and family schedules – get our hands on continuing education? We do not even have enough time for ourselves, let alone going back to school. The answer is online continuing education. It is the single best way to get CME credits while balancing work and family life.
Online continuing education has certainly taken advantage of everything the Internet has to offer – electronic mails, chat boxes, virtual classrooms, and message boards. With all these technologies at hand, online continuing education has brought the school environment from the campus to your computers. From worrying about how to get to your school on time for your classes, all you need to think about is where to get access to the internet; which is practically in every corner.
Degree and certification programs are definitely available with online continuing education. There is just a wide array of programs out there for anyone and everyone. Online CME can also help you with your maintenance of certification as CME credits are required for MOC. To make sure you get the most of this technology, here are five things you should consider when going for online continuing education:
1. Accreditation – This is probably the most important thing you need to look out for when getting in to online continuing education. You need to make sure that the CME provider online is accredited and is accredited by the right organization.
2. Cost – You also might want to check how many credit hour you will receive for you dollars. Some online continuing education courses are offered without charge because they are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or medical device manufacturers. Other course are at a rather low cost per CME hour while some may relatively high cost.
3. Additional Charges – There are some online continuing education courses that say they are “free.” However, in order to receive credit for taking the course and to submit those CME hours, there will be a fee charged on the back end. Always read the details carefully and make sure that when you find a free online CME program that it is truly free with no additional charges.
4. Schedule – Choose online continuing education providers that can work with your flexible schedule. After all, that is the main reason why you preferred online CME over a live, on-location program.
5. Is It Truly “Online?” – You also need to verify if the program they offer is purely internet-based or if you need to go on-site from time to time. You need to know all these so you can arrange your schedule ahead of time.
Online continuing education is certainly heaven-sent for medical professionals. It is the best way to attain CME credits without sacrificing work hours.