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Here’s How Your Colleagues Make CME Purchase Decisions

Posted by Scott Brown on Oct 12th 2021

(even if they have a CME stipend)

Ever feel like choosing the right CME program is a shot in the dark? Maybe you’ve tried CME from different organizations, in different settings, and in different formats. However, if you still don’t have a ‘go-to’ CME provider you know will deliver exactly what you want, then this post is for you.

Most of us can only make one major CME purchase each year, so even clinicians with an employer-sponsored CME stipend need to spend it wisely.

For some insight into how your colleagues make their CME selections each year, and maybe some tips you can start using, read on.

Our data comes from a recent study assessing how healthcare professionals decide on CME activities. The respondents were made up of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician associates.

3 Factors Influencing CME Purchases

3 Factors Influencing CME Purchases

The most influential factors identified were CME content quality, the activity’s clinical relevance, and ease of earning CME credit.

I personally find it fascinating to look deeper into my own decisions (as well as pretending to get inside my colleagues’ heads). The next logical question might be “how does one decide if a particular CME program meets each of these criteria?”

Fair warning, this step can involve some legwork on your part. If that isn’t really your thing, then I have good news! I’ve already done the legwork for you and put it in this very article.

CME Quality

Arguably, determining the quality of CME is the hardest part. There is a not insignificant component of subjectivity to quality, as well as individual factors that increase or decrease perceived quality.

Fortunately, more and more of your colleagues are helping to shine a light on good quality CME. That’s one of my favorite things I do over on Modern MedEd, in fact.

If you visit my website, you’ll notice Oakstone gets a lot of coverage. This is for good reason - they have been consistently and chronically (45+ years) delivering the highest quality CME you can find online. With such a positive reputation, you can be confident you’ll find what you want.

Clinical Relevance

This one is a no-brainer. An endocrinologist (or endocrine PA or NP) won’t benefit all that much from earning all their CME in neurosurgery. However, a pancreatic oncology specialist understandably could use something more specific to their practice.

This is another reason Oakstone is such a solid choice for your CME. Their library covers more than 30 specialties, and each product lists out all the topics it addresses. That way, you know before you make the purchase that you are getting what you want.

Ease of Earning CME Credit

Last but not least, the CME you earn doesn’t help you if you never log it. Having a fast, intuitive process for earning CME is essential for busy healthcare professionals. A CME provider with a tedious interface, a difficult to understand or slow process for obtaining certificates, or otherwise presents barriers to a good experience, it’ll likely be your last experience with them. And rightly so.

I know you saw this coming, but I’ll say it anyway. Oakstone absolutely crushes it in this department. Consuming the content, earning your CME, and obtaining your certificate are all effortless. Oakstone even takes care of the reporting for you if you let them.

What could be easier than that?