Most state medical licensing boards require physicians to complete a certain number of continuing medical education units each year. Making time for CME in a busy physician's schedule is something else again. But with more than 200 online CME sites offering ACCME-accredited courses, doctors have a host of flexible options from which to choose. In general, viewing the coursework, taking the tests, submitting required payments and receiving an electronic certificate of credit all can be done online. Registrations and passwords are required almost universally, but users can register without having to pay anything until they sign up for specific coursework leading to credit.
This representative site has an extensive collection of lessons to work through for credit. To help you decide if this is where you want to spend your money, it features a free tour with a sample test. The site lets you know what your state's CME requirements are and lists all courses by both specialty and topic. CMEweb recently paired up with MedCases to distribute case-based content through treating simulated patients.
Stanford SKOLAR, MD
This site offers an unusual method of earning AMA PRA category 1 CME credits: integrating patient care with continuing education. In a self-learning pilot program, physicians can do real-life searches on the site for use in clinical settings. Afterward, they may elect to apply for CME credit by answering questions regarding the study session's relevance to clinical decisions and practice and identifying the most helpful sources used.
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
This Web site has listings of all CME providers that have received ACCME accreditation. It also explains its accreditation policies, including those concerning advertising and commercial support. In general, ACCME steers clear of mixing marketing with education and is working on policy statements for Internet CME that reflect that position.