The recognition follows a major expansion in the medical school’s CME offerings over the last decade.
By Hope Hamashige
The Office of Continuing Medical Education at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has been awarded full accreditation with commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) for the first time. The ACCME is the national organization that accredits continuing medical education programs across the country.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement, which is something that we have been working toward for the past several years,” said Ron Ben-Ari, MD, senior associate dean for medical education at the Keck School of Medicine. “It reflects the quality of the programs supported by the Keck School’s Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME), our adherence to ACCME standards, and our commitment to providing excellent education to physicians and other health care providers with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes for our patients and communities.”
The designation demonstrates that the programs offered by the Office of CME at the medical school are free of bias and conflicts of interest. It also reflects that the programs the office accredits meet commendation criteria such as: the incorporation of other health professionals and/or residents and fellows in the planning and delivery of content; applying health care data to improve outcomes; collaborations across organizations to improve health; and improvement of community health.
An important element of quality medical care
The Office of Continuing Medical Education provides a broad range of educational opportunities for physicians and other health care professionals on the latest advances in clinical practice, new technologies and research.
Continuing medical education is one of the most important ways that health care professionals improve their knowledge and skills so that they can provide high quality care to their patients throughout their career. It has become increasingly important in the 21st century as the pace of change in the medical profession has reached new highs.
“We are living in a time of exponential growth in scientific and medical discovery,” said Ben-Ari. “It is more challenging than ever to stay on top of new information in diagnostics and therapeutics in many fields of medicine.”
To offer the community more and better opportunities to brush up on the latest medical information, the Keck School of Medicine’s Office of CME has, in the last 10 years, tripled the number of courses and symposia and regularly scheduled series that it accredits each year. The school’s continuing medical education serves approximately 18,000 health professionals annually through its symposia, courses, grand rounds and online courses.
Addressing the social determinants of health
One hallmark of the school’s continuing medical education is its commitment to provide programming that educates health care professionals on the social factors that affect health outcomes for different populations and health equity.
“We are a mission-driven organization and are wholly aligned with the medical school and health system in terms of promoting educational content that addresses implicit bias in medicine and equity in health care,” said Ben-Ari.
He adds, “Ultimately, improving care for individuals and for society as a whole is the goal of continuing medical education”.
Click here to learn more about the Keck School’s Office of Continuing Medical Education.