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A CME Program That Matters

Posted by Dean Celia

Mar 21st 2022

Medication Matters brings together primary care clinicians and specialists to address questions about drug-related issues using the best-available evidence.

Back in 2019, Oakstone CME began discussing how to better offer targeted information on important drug therapy issues. Medication Matters was born, an audio program available to subscribers of Oakstone’s CMEinfo Insider. Medication Matters features a group of knowledgeable experts addressing burning drug-related issues and questions for primary care clinicians. We recently talked with three of the participants about the program, including how Medication Matters got started, what makes it an effective learning tool, favorite episodes, and more. We spoke with:

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Sherri Boehringer

Medication Matters program host. PharmD, a practicing pharmacist with more than 25 years of experience

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Leslie Clayton

PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, a PA at North Memorial Health in Golden Valley, MN and Clinical Editor for Oakstone’s Family Medicine Insider

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Prentiss Taylor

MD, FACP, attending physician at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn IL and Chief Medical Editor at Oakstone.

Where did the concept for Medication Matters come from?

Leslie: While evaluating what primary care providers need to stay informed about trends and changes in medicine, we identified a need for pharmacology-specific information. With new medications becoming available regularly, we know it can be a lot for a busy primary care provider to keep up with. We choose to do this in an accessible, conversational manner as if we were colleagues having coffee and sharing knowledge with each other. This pharmacology-specific content speaks to some of the more common diagnoses in primary care medicine and in a way that is clinically applicable.

When Oakstone began to scope out the program, a key element was a knowledgeable host who could steer the discussion and ensure that it offers valuable medication-related information Sherri, can you briefly describe your prior experience moderating similar discussions and how that helped you in this role?

Sherri: For eight years I served as a moderator for a monthly podcast that offered CME and discussed different medication topics that were important to primary care providers. One of the things I learned from hosting this program is the importance of identifying questions that clinicians commonly encounter regarding drug therapy – and then providing answers to these questions based on the best available evidence. I also learned how fun it is to have a collaborative discussion with clinicians of different backgrounds and experiences.

Sherri, talk about the mix of clinicians you rely on for the discussions. How does the role of primary care clinicians and very often a specialist add value?

Sherri: Our discussions typically include two PCPs plus a specialist on the topic at hand. For example, we recently had two Medication Matters episodes on the management of acute and chronic migraine headaches. For each discussion, we were joined by 2 PCPs plus a neurologist with expertise in headache medicine. The blend of PCP voices with those of a specialist helps bring evidence-based medication nuances to the discussion while ensuring we are answering the clinical questions that are of most importance to primary care providers at the point of care.

I am always amazed at how much we all learn from one another. The specialist brings forth a distinct expertise that is appreciated by the PCPs -- and specialists in turn like hearing about what PCPs are encountering in their practice. There is always a friendly camaraderie between our panelists -- and we aren’t afraid to share a joke or two!

Prentiss: The specialist is usually someone who is a teacher at a medical school, who is also rooted in medical practice. These clinically-active specialists are chosen for having a deep fund of practical knowledge.

What so far has been your favorite episode, and why?

Leslie: It is difficult to pick just one. I really enjoyed the asthma program that focused on biologics. We discussed the place in therapy of biologics for treatment of asthma in a way that was lively and very holistic. Also, as a female primary care provider, the dysmenorrhea episode was also great because we intertwined medication use, lifestyle, and patient education.
Sherri: I like another asthma program we did on the Asthma 2020 guideline update from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. There were some pretty important practice-changing updates to the management of asthma, including the role of SMART (Single Maintenance and Reliver Therapy).  
Another favorite of mine was discussing the role of non-statins for management of dyslipidemia. We answered a lot of questions PCPs have regarding when it makes sense to use a non-statin instead of or in addition to a statin, including the role of PCSK9 inhibitors.
Prentiss: I really can’t pick just one – I really like them all!

Not an Insider member?

No problem, listen to the episodes our panel mentioned above for free by clicking on the video below.



Sherri, what do listeners have to look forward to in the future?

Sherri: In 2022, we have many terrific topics we are planning to explore such as the medication management of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction including the role of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 [SGLT2] inhibitors), dosing of medications in patients with renal insufficiency, and how to augment antidepressants in patients with treatment resistant depression.

We have made the Medication Matters episodes mentioned in this article available to you at no charge. If you’d like to listen to more of them, consider subscribing to CMEinfo Insider. You can learn more here.


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