“Closer to Home” rural CME/CPD

The Shock Course, offered by UBC CPD, is an interprofessional one-day workshop that can be offered in your rural community

Rural practitioners often face more challenges than their urban counterparts when accessing continuing medical education (CME) and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. For some rural physicians, there may be few (or no) local or regional in-person CME/CPD opportunities available. To attend CME/CPD events, these doctors often then have to book time off, find a locum, and travel long distances – an expensive and time-consuming process.

While in-person attendance at CME/CPD events provides valuable interaction and hands-on experience, there are a growing number of online options that allow rural physicians to participate in relevant and interesting accredited offerings without having to be away from their practice or travelling long distances. Here are some of the options available to rural physicians wishing to learn in an environment that is “closer to home.”

Videoconferencing   |   Webinars   |   Self-directed learning modules   |
Discussion groups   |   In-community workshops

Videoconferencing – UBC Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD) is a leader in providing videoconference educational opportunities in BC. Their award-winning CME on the Run videoconference series is now being delivered to regional and rural hospitals and health centres such as Nanaimo, Penticton and Castlegar. Rural practitioners can now register for a session online, travel to a nearby videoconference centre, and receive MainPro/MOC/AMA PRA credits for their participation. Visit the CME on the Run web page to see a list of topics and/or to register.

UBC Rural Continuing Professional Development (UBC RCPD) offers a monthly Rural Rounds” accredited videoconference series that connects rural physicians and allied health care professionals throughout the province. This interactive program gives participants an opportunity to discuss cases as well as individual clinical experiences. Each month, a different topic of interest is presented – visit UBC RCPD for more details.

Webinars –similar to videoconferencing, these education sessions are broadcast live from a central location; however, participants can use their own computers to participate and do not need to travel to a videoconferencing centre. Many webinars offer recognized accreditation for participants and are often either free or nominally priced.

UBC CPD offers a free webinar series. Northern Health’s CME Calendar is also a good resource for finding healthcare related webinars. RCCbc also posts accredited webinars in its Educational Calendar.

Webinar learners should ensure well ahead of the event that their computers are capable of receiving the livestream, and that they have properly installed all necessary software required to participate in the webinar (e.g., WebEx, Adobe Connect). Participants accessing webinars from a hospital computer should consult with the hospital’s IT group a week or two before the event to ensure that their computers will be able to connect to the event through local firewalls.

Self-directed learning modules – Healthcare practitioners who are too busy to participate in scheduled events now have the option to participate in self-directed online accredited learning.

In BC, UBC CPD offers an award winning program, “This Changed My Practice,” where participants interact with authors and other participants via a forum and/or email about the latest information regarding impactful clinical studies, clinical pearls, and practice tips relevant to BC physicians. Each posting is accredited for 0.25 MainPro M1 and 0.25 MOC Section 2 study credits.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) offers three self-directed learning modules for CME/CPD:

  1. Self-LearningTM – This fee-based online subscription program allows physicians to evaluate their clinical knowledge and receive further information on clinical topics in medical literature. Self LearningTM can provide a physician’s entire annual requirement for Mainpro-M1 credits within a given year.
  2. PearlsTM – This CFPC offering is an evidence-based practice reflection exercise. It is a self-directed, self-managed CPD activity that facilitates the integration of new knowledge and skills into practice. Pearls is free for active CFPC members,  resident members, and practice-eligible exam candidates.
  3. Linking Learning to PracticeTM – Linking Learning to Practice is a self-administered, semi-structured exercise that challenges physicians to frame their day-to-day clinical and non-clinical practice activities as learning opportunities. Doctors submit a form to identify a suitable practice question and then are guided in a series of critical inquiry and practice reflection exercises to facilitate answering the question. Each completed Linking Learning to Practice exercise is accredited for two Mainpro-C credits and two bonus Mainpro-M1 credits.

Discussion groups – Online journal clubs are another medium for rural physicians to obtain CME/CPD accreditation. UBC Rural CPD offers the Specialists Journal Club for Internal Medicine in BC.

In-community workshops – There are a growing number of acute skills training courses available for delivery in BC’s rural communities. Interprofessional teams working with programs such as The CARE Course or The Shock Course now regularly travel throughout rural BC to train health care providers in their own facilities.

Rural practitioners and administrators who are interested in bringing these programs into their community should consult their local Medical Advisory Committee (LMAC) and inquire about how their community’s reverted RCME funds could be used to facilitate this sort of training.

Future courses which may soon be available for in-community delivery include UBC RCPD’s Obstetrics Ultrasound course, and possibly a simulation course developed by Interior Health. It is expected that both of these courses will be available to rural communities by late 2013/early 2014. Watch the UBC RCPD web site for further information about these two offerings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *