Online continuing medical education (CME), also known as online physical therapy con ed, is a relatively new and convenient platform that allows physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) to fulfill their CME requirements on their schedule and from any location with an internet connection. Applied Continuing Education (ACE) is at the forefront of an ongoing shift from traditional CME to online CME by offering two live online webinars designed specifically for PTs and OTs who are looking to learn from experts in the field efficiently and at their convenience.
However, since online CME is still gaining traction, many rehabilitation professionals may be uncertain if it’s right for them to transition to this format from the traditional CME model. Therefore, below we answer some of your frequently asked questions about online CME that should address these concerns and highlight the value of learning in this manner.
Q: What are some of the key differences between traditional CME and online CME?
The biggest difference between the two learning platforms is that traditional CME courses must be taken at a set time and in a fixed location, while online CME courses are available with more flexible scheduling and can be taken practically anywhere.
Online CME offers a wider reach compared to the limited access of traditional CME, and it also typically costs significantly less since travel is not required to attend courses
Although traditional CME may provide for more opportunities to interact with the speaker and other participants, many online CME courses use teleconferencing, which allows for live engagement between all parties involved
Question: What are some of the advantages of online CME over traditional CME?
- More flexibility and convenience for taking courses
- Lower costs
- A wider range of options for available courses
- Assessments that help users demonstrate their knowledge
- Allows users to track their progress more easily
- Some courses provide access to more in-depth materials to ensure a deeper understanding of the topic
Question: What online physical therapy con ed courses does ACE offer?
We currently offer two courses: “Weight Management for Rehab Patients: Crucial Skills for PTs and OTs to Help Patients with Weight Management” and “Shoulder Pain and Dysfunction: Effective Therapy for the Treatment of Common Shoulder Disorders.” Both courses are live online webinars that count for 6 continuing education units each.
Question: Why is it important for PTs and OTs to learn about how to discuss weight management with their patients?
Patient education is at the core of the physical therapy practice, and understanding how—and when—to discuss weight management with patients is a shortcoming for many PTs, as demonstrated in a recently published study. Reference
Since some overweight patients may be limited in how much they’re able to improve if they don’t also take steps to lose weight, PTs and OTs have a prime opportunity to offer effective strategies to help them get there.
Question: What can PTs/OTs do to help patients with weight management?
They can provide education about the importance of weight management, assess patients’ current weight and BMI, and offer “general” guidance on how to make healthier dietary choices and exercise regularly.
Question: Why should PTs take a CME course on shoulder dysfunction?
Shoulder pain is the second most common reason that patients come in for physical therapy, and it’s therefore essential that PTs stay up to date on the latest techniques and research so they can treat shoulder pain as effectively as possible. Click here to learn more about our online shoulder continuing education course, that focuses on the importance of great, evidence-based communication with your patients.