We'll try to demystify the CME process. Because these pages are written by surveyors, and because we are running low on antacids, some of these writings may reflect common mistakes that we see in our surveys. That's not the purpose of this website, but what the hell. You get the idea.  

these CME criteria have recently been reframed by ACCME starting with the mission statement,  jumping promptly to criterion 12, self reflection of your CME program, and so on. I find that the step-by-step process running through the individual criteria can be useful for other challenges besides developing a CME activity.  It's a useful way to organize thoughts.   Read More


1 mission statement:  what is your ultimate goal? your Northstar?Does everyone understand it? Will your educational activities help you reach this goal?  Read More

2 professional practice Gap (PPG) what is the problem you're trying to fix?  Read More

3 learning objectives: what are you trying to teach in order to fix the practice gap?  spoiler alert: this should be competence, performance or patient outcomes. Read More

4 target audience (this is no longer required by ACCME, as it is implied that the practice gap in learning objectives will be appropriate for the audience.  I still like to use it because it helps me ask the question, do the PPG and learning objectives match our audience?)  Read More

5 appropriate venue what is the best way to teach this? Another boring lecture?  Read More

6 desirable physician attributes/core competencies: what qualities are you trying to develop in your physician audience?   Read More

7 Standards for Commercial Support SCS 2, identify and mitigate conflicts of interest  Read More

8 managing commercial support  Read More

9 separation of  promotion from education  Read More

10 content validity/advancing healthcare, not promotion  Read More

11 evaluation  Read More

12 program evaluation  Read More

13 changes to the program based on criterion 12  Read More


and so on (commendation criteria)


 Clinical Examples


  1. mission: satisfy quality measures for my group.
  2. Practice gap: hypertension control is at 70% of patients, we want 90%.  See more discussion with the Read More link for criterion 2, above
  3. learning objectives:  there are a lot of things we need to teach.  as a result of this activity, physicians will be able to:
    --advise patients on low sodium diet
    --identify appropriate patients for home blood pressure monitoring
    --prescribe hypertensive therapy in a rational manner
    --manage drug-resistant patients and appropriately refer to hypertension clinic
    or whatever you feel appropriate. Notice that I didn't include knowledge-based objectives such as "be aware of new therapies".
  4. target audience (not officially required): certainly interests and family practitioners, but probably OB/GYN's who do primary care.  they are also dealing with hypertension in the setting of preeclampsia, but that's a different enough issue to require its own CME planning.
  5. appropriate formats: There might be some lecturing involved, or maybe a blend of Journal club, self-study, lecture, panel discussions
  6. core competency:  performance improvement. This lends itself to review of medical records, hopefully some data mining facilitated by the EMR, and frequent review
  7. do the usual disclosure process by planners, speakers, and if there's journal reading involved, make sure it is peer-reviewed and not an infomercial.
  8. Ditto, if you're getting commercial support
  9. keep your eye on the goal of hypertension control, just in case you are combining the learning activities with a ski trip, boat cruise or football game
  10. make sure what you are teaching is the standard of care and not a sales pitch for a new product
  11. evaluation: could include number of patients reaching target, number of physicians meeting this standard, or simply number of physicians who state that they learned new skills
  12. did this learning activity help us meet our mission statement? Why or why not? What could have been improved?
  13. Are there any improvements you would like to make to your ongoing efforts at managing hypertension?


Silly examples:  examples where CME process can help organize everyday tasks (and familiarize CME criteria through repetition)



C'mon, people, this isn't rocket science

search terms:  Mitsuo Tomita, Jerry Manoukian