Jackson and Geissel began their presentation by asking those in the room why they decided to come to this particular session. The big draws included the session topic, its learning objectives, and the faculty. This mirrored data from a learner preferences survey Geissel conducted online with 2,900 U.S. physicians: 92 percent said they choose CME activities because the topic is of interest to them, and 89 percent said it’s because the topic is one they need to learn more about to provide the best patient care. Just over one-quarter said they choose CME activities because of the faculty/author, while approximately 65 percent indicated it is the learning objectives and activity titles that tip the scales for them.

Clinicians are required to be masters at knowing what they don’t know in order to stay current in their fields after formal education. The problem, however, is that it takes a lot of time to figure out what they need to learn, and to find education on the topics they’re interested in, said about 90 percent of survey respondents. Almost one-third don’t even get that far, saying they don’t know what they should be learning, much less which activities will help them address a specific learning need. “If you can tap into their EHRs [electronic health records], you can use that data” to help them identify their educational needs, said Geissel.