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Medical Education in a Time of Physical (Social) Distancing

To say the least, these are unusual times. In the past month, each of us has been faced with both personal and professional decisions that we could not have imagined having to make just weeks earlier. While I can only hope your personal realities are beginning to settle into a new normal, I have spent much of the past few weeks exploring what critical decisions our professional community is making to move forward. This effort began with a rapid set of interviews with association/society collegues – the output of which was recently published in an ACEhp Almanac article. In the past week, the lessons from these interviews have evolved and been shared with dozens of other members in the community including providers and supporters. To ensure that our full community can learn from one another and brainstorm around decisions still to be made, there are two new learning/sharing opportunities that you should be aware of – namely a FREE webinar from the ACEhp taking place on April 7th and a session at the (always FREE) CMEpalooza on April 15th. Please find the details for the article and the webinars below, please join the conversation, and please share these links with your colleagues!

Alliance Almanac Article – published March 25th
Continuing Medical Education in a Time of Social Distancing
With increased awareness of the impact of the pandemic and with several prominent cases in the United States, severe and necessary actions have been taken by governments and health agencies at local, state and federal levels. Many of these actions may be seen as general health recommendations, but others are novel, including social distancing.
Over the past week, I conducted interviews with five CME professionals who are rapidly coming to terms with our new reality. Each interviewee works within a medical association or society — from small specialty societies to some of the largest medical associations in the world. Each interview explored the short-term implications of social distancing and the pandemic, as well as the key decisions that their organizations have faced. While these conversations have focused on some unique realities for each organization, there are several general themes and conclusions that have emerged.

Alliance Webinar Tuesday Apr 7th – 2 PM ET
Case studies of CPD in a Time of Social Distancing
As a follow up to his recently published article in the Almanac, Brian S. McGowan, PhD, FACEhp will sit down with Andrew Crim, M.Ed., CHCP to explore ACOOG’s rapid response to adapt a live, annual, meeting in a time of pandemic and mandatory social distancing. While the article presented 5 case studies from association/society professionals, this webinar will dive more deeply into the decision drivers AND outcomes from the recent ACOOG experiences. This conversation will provide a critical exploration of how, in a time of chaos, an organization can be guided by learning and implementation science to produce an effective educational intervention that aligns learner needs with organizational realities/constraints. Time will be allotted to answering any questions that you may have.

CMEpalooza Wednesday April 15th – 9 AM ET
How Should the CE Industry Respond to a Novel Healthcare Crisis?
CE is typically based on the analysis of data and the application of new science into clinical practice. Most healthcare crises, like COVID-19, are unexpected and therefore lack strong evidence regarding patient management. In the absence of reliable data, how do we educate clinicians to improve patient outcomes in the heat of the moment? In a novel healthcare crisis, in which standard funding sources may not be available, from where should support come? Typically, the goal of CE is to empower clinicians to improve their practice in the hopes of improving patient outcomes. What are the appropriate learning objectives, educational formats, and outcome measurements for such an all-inclusive, global healthcare professional audience?

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.