Thursday, December 3, 2009

Careers in CME (continuing medical education)

CME = continuing medical education

The world of professional medical education continues to evolve and I've recently had some nice opportunities to share my personal experiences in the CME industry. If you're interested in exploring career options in the world of CME, do you know where to begin?

Let's start with medical writing. That's an easy place to start since writers often come from medical and scientific backgrounds (either as an MD, PharmD, PhD, etc.). Here are some organizations/groups/resources you'll want to research:


How about a list of companies so that you can start your research? One nice place to get a list is the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies, Inc., (NAAMECC). NAAMECC is a professional association dedicated to providing representation, advocacy, and education for its members. To see a list of member companies, click here.


We can't forget about the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). If you want to work in CME, you need to be familiar with the rules and regulations that govern the CME industry. The ACCME's Mission is the identification, development, and promotion of standards for quality continuing medical education (CME) utilized by physicians in their maintenance of competence and incorporation of new knowledge to improve quality medical care for patients and their communities.

The ACCME maintains a list of CME providers (which includes universities, societies, and private education companies). You can find that list here. You can sort alphabetically, by state, etc. Keep in mind that


AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) is another great resource. Join and get listed in the Freelance Directory. Attend social and educational meetings related to regional chapters.


The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) is another great resource for medical writers.

The HittList

Emma Hitt, PhD, maintains a weekly newsletter of medical writing jobs. Subscribe to her free newsletter here. I've used it to find freelance medical writers, so I know it works.

The Alliance for CME

The Alliance for CME is an organization that pulls together CME professionals from different settings such as medical universities, professional medical societies and associations, private medical education/communication companies, and others. They hold an annual meeting each January and I'm always there for those meetings. To learn more about the Alliance, visit:


If you want to get serious about CME, then become a certified CME professional or CCMEP. The National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, Inc. (NC-CME) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 by an independent group of peers within the CME community for the purpose of establishing a definitive certification program for CME Professionals.


The AMA holds a national meeting in October called the "National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration." This is a great place to learn about the CME industry and to meet others who work in medical education.


There are several great LinkedIn groups that I would highly recommend. They are:
  • Continuing Medical Education
  • Continuing Medical Education Buzz Group
  • Professional Medical / Scientific Writers
  • Medical Writing and Affairs Association
  • Biotech & Pharma Professionals Network
Company Directories

Here are a few lists (some are outdated) of CME providers that include some private medical education companies:
Don't be surprised if many of the private CME companies no longer exist. Several closed in 2008 and even more closed in 2009.

So, should you get involved in the CME industry? What better way to answer that question than to speak with a CME professional? I invite you to contact me if you're interested in chatting more about this industry.

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