Interested in attaining the new Certified CME Professional credential, but worried about how to study for the exam? In November, AOE Consulting, based in Littleton, Colo., rolled out the AOE Prep Course to help continuing medical education professionals prepare for the test. The CCMEP, created by the National Commission for the Certification of CME Professionals, debuted in the spring of 2008. It is the first credential for CME professionals.

“One of the most daunting things to a lot of folks is, ‘Where do I begin? Where do I go to find the information that's going to be featured on the exam?’” says Annika Gill, CCMEP, managing director at AOE.

AOE staff developed the course by interviewing 12 people who had taken either the CCMEP beta test in May 2008 or the first round of official CCMEP exams in June.

“Those early test-takers really helped to give us background on the exam, which we used to approach the prep course design,” says Gill. Gill took the test herself in September, using the study course as her guide.

Road Trip

The 6-hour live course is led by two or more AOE CCMEP-certified instructors for companies or organizations at their own offices. AOE charges travel expenses plus a flat fee of $3,500 per group — regardless of the number of participants. The ideal class size is eight people or fewer, but AOE has done training for groups of 25. Organizations that don't have enough people to fill a class of eight can join forces with another group. So far, clients include pharmaceutical companies, a hospital, medical education and communication companies, and a medical society.

AOE also charges $50 per person for a study manual, which includes articles and resources to facilitate self-directed preparation for the exam.

The course combines didactic instruction with case vignettes and sample test questions for each of the five modules. The modules align with the five competency areas covered in the NC-CME exam: adult learning principles, educational interventions, relationships with stakeholders, leadership/administration and management, and knowledge of the CME environment.

“Anyone who takes the course and goes through the study manual is going to walk in feeling very prepared,” says Gill.

Participants receive a certificate of completion. To date, about 50 people have taken the course and everyone who AOE has contacted for feedback has passed, according to Gill.

The NC-CME board encourages other organizations to develop study materials, but has no intentions of creating a preparatory course itself or endorsing products such as AOE's because it would be inappropriate, says Judith Ribble, PhD, CCMEP, NC-CME executive director.

More On/ Meetingsnet.com

Check out Medical Meetings' December 2008 cover story, “Mission Accomplished,” online at meetingsnet.com/medical meetings, for an in-depth look at how the CCMEP was developed.

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Continuing medical education Profession Launches Certification Program