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Acad Med. 2010 Jan;85(1):12-5. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181c42e04.

Commentary: CME and its role in the academic medical center: increasing integration, adding value.

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  • 1Continuing education and performance improvement, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


Continuing medical education (CME), as it is currently structured, funded, and institutionalized, plays a marginal role in the academic medical center (AMC). In contrast, several models of more effective, integrated CME exist, and these enable the AMC to better achieve its potential in education, research, and health care delivery. Examples of such models are presented, emphasizing quality and performance improvement; regional, national, and public outreach; faculty and staff development; and research and scholarly activity. Although there are many reasons to maintain the status quo of CME programs, there are offsetting forces for change to be found in accreditation processes, movements toward maintenance of certification and licensure, and the need for the AMC to achieve higher quality standards. These models may offer a view of the potential of academic CME to be a major vehicle for the effective integration in quality, regional, and faculty development arenas, and as a scholarly and outcomes-oriented pursuit. Sitting at the right table and sufficiently integrated, CME holds real potential to help the AMC meet its multiple goals and missions.

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