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Program Content & Format

Continuing medical education activities serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public. CME activities should be developed based on identified practice gaps and underlying educational needs of the intended target audience. In addition, faculty planners should keep in mind the following:

Content Validation of Live Activities

Faculty planners should ensure that:

  • All recommendations involving clinical medicine be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
  • All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis.

Content Validity of Enduring Materials

Enduring materials offered as an accredited CME activity must be reviewed for currency and accuracy at least once every three years, or more frequently if indicated by new scientific developments. The review date must be included on the enduring material, along with the original release date and a termination date.

Balance in content

Faculty planners should inform presenters for the CME activity that:

  • Presentations, individually or in combination during the activity, must give a balanced view of the therapeutic options.
  • Generic names of products contribute to impartiality. If trade names are used, those of several companies should be used.
  • For FDA regulated products, unapproved uses (i.e. “off-label” uses) must be identified as such.
  • If information is to be presented that is not established medical practice, the information must be identified as such.

Communicating the Purpose and Expected Results

The purpose and expected results of the CME activity must be conveyed to the target audience in advance so that individuals can determine whether the CME activity is likely to meet their personal learning needs. Information about the target audience, purpose, and expected results of the activity should also be conveyed to presenters to guide presentations.