There's no free lunch, and there's no free CME--everything has a cost associated with it, whether or not you have to shell out any actual dough. Check out this post from Floyd Pennington on why he thinks physicians should have to pay for every credit they earn.
While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm not sure I fully agree with him. He says, "When there is all of this 'free' CME out there it is may be too easy to just take what is readily available at no cost and many times probably with no relevance to the patients they are seeing." But he also points out the growing number of these free activities, and their often high quality. Chances are, HCPs can find a 'free' activity for what they really do need to know to improve care for their specific crop of patients, and will if they can. While everyone tends to value things that have a cost associated with them more than freebies, as any meeting professional would attest, if this is the direction we're going in, I'm not convinced that docs would -- or would have to -- choose 'free' over quality and pertinent education.
But what do I know -- I'd rather hear your thoughts on the value of 'free' CME.