Here are a few of the stories and blog posts related to continuing medical education that caught our eyes in the past week.

• Jason Olivieri, MPH, a needs and outcomes assessment expert with medical education company Imedex, has written before on the importance of effect size in continuing medical education. This week, he took on the limitations of effect size, and includes links to slides on the topic from a presentation he gave at the Society for Academic CME Spring meeting as well. The main concerns he highlights:

  1. Using mean and standard deviation from ordinal variables to determine effect size (how big of a deal is this?)
  2. Transforming Cramer’s V to Cohen’s d (is there a better method?)
  3. How many outcome questions should be aggregated for a given CME activity to determine an overall effect? (my current minimum is four)

See Issues with effect size in CME for more, plus the slide links. And, if you want to learn about statistical analysis in CME outcomes, this session from the recent CMEPalooza will give you an excellent primer:


• Tom Sullivan, founder of medical education company Rockpointe and editor of the Policy and Medicine blog, points to a potentially emerging problem in oncology—that the decrease in commercial support for oncology CME may result in a parallel decrease in physicians adopting new therapies. He refers to a recent article in the Journal of Cancer Education, “The Consequences of Diminishing Industry Support on the Independent Education Landscape: An Evidence-Based Analysis of the Perceived and Realistic Impact on Professional Development and Patient Care Among Oncologists,” which finds that CME plays an important role in their professional development. And, it found,

Three-quarters of the respondents indicated that commercial support is a significant reason high-quality oncology CME is available. Furthermore, approximately 88 percent of oncologists said it is somewhat to very likely that implementation of new or emerging therapies would be slower if commercial support is reduced, and 89 percent said implementation of evidence-based medicine would be slower. Guideline development would also be prolonged, according to 81 percent of oncologists.

Read the full post: Diminishing Industry Support for Oncology CME May Hinder the Adoption of New Therapies.

• For those who want to lighten up a little, Derek Warnick, a.k.a. @The CMEGuy and the person behind the CMEPalooza, gives us “10 Signs That You Might Work in CME.” And yes, those signs can be a little scary. To wit:

If you know what ACCME, ACEHP, CCMEP, PhRMA, OIG, AMA CEJA, FACEHP, SACME, PARS, NCCME, PICME, POC CME, MOC, MOL, IACE, GAME, PPSA, and CMS stand for…you might work in CME.